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‘She’s my sister’, ‘No, she’s my cousin’, ‘She’s my girl friend’, ‘Yes, she is my girlfriend’ are statements that reveal that two people share a relationship but the only one that clearly establishes that two couples are in a love relationship is the last statement, ‘She’s my girlfriend’ which can be substituted for ‘She’s my lady’. Most people make mistakes or should I say commit errors while introducing to his friends his woman. The way a lady is introduced or addressed before your friends tells her everything she needs to know about what you think of both of you. To some guys, every girl is either a cousin or a sister. Do you mean like your actual sibling or your missionary sister? This article, however, attempts to explore and critically examine contemporary issues in love relationships especially among the young.

The historical problem of this study lies in the question, ‘How contemporary are the contemporary issues?’ Majority of the reigning trends of the 21st century do not exist for the first time in history. Historical research studies show that these trends, including relationship issues, had existed in the past, but exist now in a modified way. It has also shown that more young boys stay single before marriage than young girls. This is as a result of many factors. People believe that in Nigeria, the man makes the move to woo a woman, not the other way round. The implication of this is that if the man does not make the move even when the lady is willing to listen, there will be no courtship or match-making, no matter how the lady may crush on him. This is because the lady is hedged on all sides by constraint to woo the man. But whether a lady likes it or not, pretty or ugly, shy or bold, a man must make advances to woo her. Proud men who wish to preserve their respect or dignity prefer their pride to be in tact to being smeared in ashes because they desire to win a mistress. This is affirmed by the particular refrain in Phyno’s track titled “Obiagụ” which sings ‘Kama asa ga-awụ m n’ana, mụ achụnaya achụ…’ which translates ‘instead of being insulted by a lady, let me not woo her…’ One boy I know is willing to win a mistress but his faith forbids him. At the end of the day, it is still seen that what most do not do in public to uphold their faith, they do behind the curtains or even turn abnormal. It is not news if I tell you that more men have turned gay or even masturbated because of this constraint.

But there is a more striking issue in love relationship than preservation of dignity or fear of loss of respect. And this problem lies in the question, ‘How do you know a lady is or is not in an affair before you met her?’ This is one problem that appears to be very little yet it has a huge shadow hidden somewhere, just like icebergs in the oceans. Sure you cannot just open up to ask a lady if she has a man for the first time you are meeting her, just like you cannot inquire her blood genotype. This question immediately unfolds to her the dimension you’re headed, friendship or marriage. It’s not right. Women love surprises. Suspense sustains and spices up intimacy. Let me just tell you a story: A young man met a lady and for the first time they met, he thought he loves her. They had a nice time together and exchanged contacts. The man called her almost on daily basis and on one of the calls, he asked the lady out and she accepted. Even before the offer, the man found out that the lady feels free whenever she is with him, she dances, smiles or laughs to whatever he says and leans on his shoulders. On the night of their outing as they were coming out of the restaurant, the lady went to meet another man while her date waited aside for her. The boy recalled that she had received a call as they had their meal and she had told the caller where exactly she was. It shocked him when the lady came back to him and announced that she has to go with the other man whom she called, “my guy”. It turned out, however, that she sees someone else while she has been with this one that just took her out. After all, he didn’t ask. But he cannot ask. This is a problem.

‘A broken heart can be mended but a shattered heart…’ is a statement we hear every day in Africa Magic movies. The fear of being brokenhearted has prevented many from yielding or succumbing to love relationships, especially for people whose heart has been broken before. But the question remains, ‘Whose fault is it, men or women?’ Regarding the answer to this question, I’ve got nothing to say. The tendency of cheating or infidelity is as inevitable as death in any love affair. The moment you think you have seen the woman of your dreams probably because she is undeniably beautiful or elegant, make a move from where you stand and you will see another woman prettier, more elegant and yet younger than she is. You’ll never see a better person if you seek that because what one lacks another possesses and vice versa. The unfaithfulness can come from the man the same way it can come from the woman.

Different persons seek varying desires they intend to gratify or satisfy in every love relationship. But sex is at the centre of them all. Some seek money, some belongingness and protection, some look out for love and many, just sex. It is observed that trouble lays eggs whenever there is failure in the gratification of any of these desires which one seeks in a love relationship. This is affirmed by the question lovers usually ask themselves, ‘What do you want?’ This problem is best solved by fostering open communication between lovers. But the problem appears to be that two people who claim to be in love are not like minded, that is, they have varying and dissimilar interests so that one is satisfied while the other is not. The force of attraction between a young man and woman before they make first love is as wielding as that between the North pole and South pole of a magnetic field while after sex, this force repels like two North poles. In economics terms, diminishing marginal utility occurs in a love relationship once it is consummated. People are meant to identify what they want in a love relationship even before they move into one.

The discourse of this article is, however, incomplete if an attempt is not made to provide solutions or curb the aforementioned love relationship issues, but the basic nature -this work is a first edition- of this study sets limitation to the extent to which the provision of these solutions reaches. It is believed that any fellow who has this paper within his reach is mature. Tell yourself the truth if you really want to establish intimacy with someone. Introduce her as your girlfriend to your friends if she is, not as your sister. If you don’t want to be so direct, just say she is your lady; that can mean many things. If she dares to ask, then express yourself. If your father had feared he would lose his respect in an attempt to court a lady, you would not have been born because your parents will not marry in the first place. You’re not the first to feel ego or the first to have fear of losing your respect. The attention a lady gives you depends on how you approached her. If she insults you, it’s your fault. You didn’t do your homework. So do your homework; homework is not just meant to be done for academic purposes. This is part of learning too.

A good friend of mine once told me that if I intend to find a mature student lady who is without a man in her life in the University of Nigeria Nsukka, I’ll grow wrinkles and bald searching. This also applies to men looking for ladies who are not yet deflowered. It is rare, difficult if not impossible to find an authentic virgin lady these days. With respect to this, even before you meet a lady, there is someone who must have been there before your arrival. If you show her a tangible reason why you’re the one she should be with, she will leave the other for you. It just lies in being able to discover or find out what it is that she looks out for in a man, especially in you. Make her see that thing and she is all yours. Do not get disappointed if you find out someone else is in the court with you. If there is, that implies competition- complete well then.

Speaking on the issue of broken heartedness and infidelity, I’ve really got nothing much to say about those right now. I’ll deeply and in detail unravel that in my other room, not here in the living room. Just beware of players and kill-joys that hit and run. Further solutions and discussions will be made available in the next edition of this topic. With this, I conclude.

 

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Growing up privileged, made me blind to many things I needed to see. Every morning, I would wear my beautiful school uniform, eat breakfast and pick my lunch box filled with food and have my mother drive me to school. I never paid attention to what my disadvantaged mates had to go through those mornings.

As a kid I used to go to my village a lot, almost every weekend. I saw a lot of children with tattered clothes who did not go to school. We would sort some of our clothes and give them. I used to see children especially the girls wandering in the bushes looking for firewood, they also came into our compound to fetch water early in the morning. I knew they were poor but I never understood what it meant to be poor. I took things for granted.

Although I want to talk about poverty in general, I am more interested in the girl child and how it affects her the most. The girl child is the one most likely to remain in abject poverty, continue to wander in bushes in search of firewood, wear tattered clothes for the rest of her life. This is because her chances of getting educated is slim and in many cases non-existent. Even when she has the chance to go to school, she cannot abandon her chores, she needs to clean, cook and most importantly be married at a certain age and bear children. This was her grandmother's fate, her mother's and will likely be hers. This is the girl child I wasn't and the girl child I never want to see again. We have the power to end this cycle.

It is really sad that on a Monday morning in 2017, we still see underage children especially girls, in farms not for school practicals, but for survival, we see them hawking on the streets, praying for new police and military checkpoints so they can have access to more customers. 2017, just three years to vision 2020.

The remedy to

these vicious cycle of poverty is in education, which the right of every child. In a country like Nigeria it still feels like education is the birthright of just the rich due to the exorbitant fees paid in most schools. Even when the poor people have access to it, the girl child is still denied access just because she is a girl. Educating the girl child is of great importance to the survival of the human race. This is a fact we have refused to accept. Studies have shown that if all women completed primary education, under-five mortality rate will fall by 15% in low-lower-middle income countries thereby saving the lives of one million children. Also if more women completed secondary education, the risk of acquiring HIV is reduced. This goes a long way in helping the world in the fight against this deadly disease.

The first time I heard about #ONE was on Big Brother Naija (oya roll your eyes), I was intrigued by what they have accomplished worldwide and most importantly in Africa, i knew for sure I wanted to be a part of it. I don't want to see the tattered, uneducated, married at 12 girl child anymore. I want to see that every girl child has an opportunity to be all that she can be, the girl should have a voice and the cycle of poverty should be broken. I want more girls in school, not just for the sake of going to school but to help the entire human race.

Visit one.org today and join this movement.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Adanna Elechi is a young entrepreneur, blogger and Information enthusiast. She believes she can change the world one post at a time.  

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @Adee_Elechi 

Facebook.com Adanna Elechi. 

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1Learn about Women History: Learn about your culture and learn about other women's culture too. Do a proper research on your own about women history - leaders, fights, explorations and discovery. Spend time watching good documentaries and googling is also helpful in understanding where you stand in relation to the evolution you have inherited. Many women do not understand their origin. This needs to change and it will only benefit you.

2. Expand your passions and learn how to dialogue: Learn who you are, what you want, how you think, what your opinion in life and everything in it. Write down your feelings and your thoughts. Accompany yourself with people you can have a great conversation with, dialogue with smart people so that you can be seen, heard and understood.

3. Say Yes to Mentorship: Mentors can show up in differnt forms, shapes and sizes. There is much to learn from mentors, even if they don't look like the type of mentor you expected or what you imagined the ideal mentor looks like.

4. Learn that men and women are different: Take time to learn the difference between men and women and embrace them. If men and women learn how we differ from each other, then we can use these difference to create powerful outcomes in a balanced way.

5. Have a positive self image: Once you learn to take charge of things by yourself, you will see your confidence will improve and you will become a doer instead of a complainer.

 

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The Money Fight between between undefeated eleven-time five-division professional boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the current UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor. It will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada on August 26, 2017.

Mayweather is expected to earn at least $100 million, increasing up to four times that amount if the event achieves all of its metrics while McGregor is expected to earn $75 million, but this fight is more than the money especially for Floyd Mayweather, who in in kick-off press tour said “when a Boxer has dominated for a long time and never lost in 20 years of professional boxing, everything is on the line, from your legendary career to your reputation”.

With 5 days to go to the much anticipated money match, both Floyd and Conor have stepped up their war of words. At a press conference held in Toronto, things  got more heated.

First up was Conor McGregor who had the support of what sounded like all but four people in the Canadian crowd. He took the microphone and immediately invited those in attendance to scream "F--- THE MAYWEATHERS" at his count of three, a request the crowd was happy to help him with.

From there McGregor got to the insults, mocking Mayweather for his style and strategy in the ring. "He tip-tap-toes to a decision. He's never even fought a day in his life," McGregor said before adding, "He's a runner. He's boxing's biggest b----."

McGregor concluded with the sharpest jab of the night, bringing up Mayweather's literacy. "What are you doing with a school bag on stage?" McGregor asked. "You can't even read."

Floyd then took the stage and was met with a rain of boos and a chant of "PAY YOUR TAXES" as he took the mic. While the Toronto crowd was clearly against him, Mayweather was quick to remind his opponent, "The f------ fans can't fight for you."

Floyd also addressed Conor's attack on his reading ability with an extremely on-brand response, saying "I'm the motherf----- that can't read? B---- I do numbers. I do money."

McGregor quickly replied, "You owe money," much to the crowd's delight.

"I do?" Mayweather responded, while pulling out a few stacks from the backpack McGregor had been mocking earlier. Mayweather continued bringing money into play, telling his opponent, "If you believe in yourself like you say you believe in yourself, bet your whole fight check you b----.

He then got an Irish flag from the crowd and began posing with it, prompting McGregor to snag Floyd's backpack off the ground as collateral. After Mayweather offered the flag to McGregor, McGregor threw it right back at Floyd, again earning cheers from the crowd.

 

Recently, McGregor threw another shade at the money man saying ‘I’m getting four times my net worth for half a fight, ‘If he’s upset about anything I said he’s an idiot.

‘I’m getting to know everything about him. I know the main shot he throws, how he moves.

‘When I look at a man in his eyes I can tell I’m going to beat him. I know his little head can’t take the smacks coming from this ruthless animal. I’m going to knock him out. And I can’t wait for when the time comes in a few days when I can show him what I’m going to do, I will knock Mayweather out in two minutes’ 

Admitting he is well past his best, 40-year-old Mayweather Responded to McGregors Shade : “I’m a lot older and not same FM as 20 years ago, not even FM of two years ago.

“Young guys in gym are pushing me and helping me prepare for this. But it only counts under the lights. Look at the matchup and everything leans towards Conor McGregor. He’s taller, got a longer reach, he’s in his 20s and he’s active and I’m inactive. He’s a stand-up fighter.”

‘I don’t really know him. I just know he can fight and he’s tough and he’s an entertainer. I still respect him as a man. But to earn my respect as a fighter he has to prove it in the fight. He just says what he wants to say but I don’t get upset at all, I push his buttons, he can’t out-talk me, I have a higher IQ. We’ll rate him No 2 for trash talking, I’m No 1.’

‘I don’t pay any attention to him saying he will knock me out in four rounds. I have a granite chin. The world knows Floyd Mayweather can fight. Believe me its not going to be a dull fight.’

 

With Mayweather going as far to say “white men can’t fight boxing”, who do you think will the money fight, you can vote on our twitter page @blueprintafric.


Mayweather and McGregor will face off on August 26th in what very possibly could be the biggest fight in pay-per-view history. Knowing how skilled both men are at selling a fight, war of words is only going to get more personal.

 

 



 

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Your diet is the most important factor when trying to lose body fat. No Matter how hard you work out, it won’t matter if you have a poor diet. Following a strict diet can be hard, but once you get into the rhythm you will find it easier and easier (especially once you start shedding some pounds). Here are some few tips for you to follow.

FAT LOSS TIP #1- Cut down the intake of Carbs

You won’t have to cut carbs (carbohydrates) out of your diet entirely, but you will need to stay away from simple carbs. Many sources will state whole wheat grains as a good carbs source, but I would say; stay away from bread as much as possible when trying to cut body fat. Include lots of protein and Vegetables in your diet, example chicken, beans, fish, egg, nut, cucumber, cabbage, carrot garden fresh leaf etc.

FAT LOSS TIP #2- Eat smaller meal more often

I recommend eating 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day instead of the traditional 3 heavy meals. Another tip is to record all of your meals daily in a dairy. Trust me, this will help you eat healthy throughout the week and this task only takes a few second after eating a meal. NB: you can use the smallest ice cream cup to measure your meal.

FAT LOSS TIP #3- Pick a cheat day

95% of your meals during the week should be strict to your diet, but allow yourself to go outside of your diet 5% of the time. This will help you from going insane and can actually be productive in helping you lose fat by tricking your body. You can do this however you want but I will recommend you make Sunday your CHEAT DAY and eat very strictly Monday to Saturday.

                                                   

FAT LOSS TIP #4- Drink water and Lots of it

Drink 3liters of water per day, and try to drink almost only water. If you currently drinking fruit juice or pop all day, you are adding a ton of unnecessary bad calories to your diet every day. Get use to drinking water.

FAT LOSS TIP #5- Cut out Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the worst thing to consume when trying to loss body fat. If you are serious about losing your body fat you will need to cut alcohol drink out of your diet. Of course you don’t need to stop drinking alcohol entirely, but cut down on alcoholic drink. (If you can stop entirely, that will be great)

FAT LOSS TIP #6- Lift Weight

Many people who are trying to loss body fat, makes the mistake of doing only cardiovascular. Weight lifting is a great way a burn calories/fat. Use free weight for the most part, and try circuits, supersets and higher reps.

FAT LOSS TIP #7- Interval cardio training

Instead of jogging for 40mins try doing HIGH INTENSIVE INTERVAL TRAINING(HIIT). This involves short spurts of high intensity movements (sprinting) followed by an interval of lower intensity movements (light jogging). Try alternating sprinting for 30 seconds and jogging for 1min, for 15mins and see how that compares to the normal 40mins of slow cardio.

 

ABOUT THE WRITER

Onyebueke Chinedu Franklin is a fitness instructor at Lilburn Health and Fitness Center. 

He has over Eight (8) years experience working as a gym and aerobics instructor in three (3) different gyms in Enugu metropolis.

Reach out to him on instagram @xkampido 

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Here’s the winning article from the international youth day writing challenge. Written by Ebere Ngwu.

 As a little girl who grew up in the ghetto part of the country, I was very conversant with the deplorable state of our neighbourhood. 

 Today I sat on The Fence, reminiscing the popular song sang in the old comedy skit "Jaguar", where Afolabi sang with his Khaki Short, "My belle o, my head o."  As I sat I really felt the pain in my belly and head watching my country dancing to the tunes of corruption, bribery, injustice, abject hunger, medical negligence, political backwards....etc. 

I was "On the Fence by Lenrie Peters -Where the dim past and future mingle, their nebulous hopes and as aspirations -There I lie".

In a world where the old have vehemently refused to rest in their nests and watch the youths do their bests - There I lie

 In a world where the Judiciary swear oaths just to tell lies...

Where natural beauties are replaced with snapchat dog filters... 

Where parents are never wrong and children never right.... 

Where morality is now an eyesore and immorality an idol... 

Where the elders in the House of Assembly portray Acts of babies in the kindergarten... 

Where the media are raconteurs of lies... 

Where our culture is no longer user-friendly and our language slacking with hunger and farmland garnished with droughts... 

Where being unemployed is the new employment.... 

Where people like Evans evanescence with divine political means... 

Where our young girls are engaged in using makeup pens instead of Biro pens, where we prefer highlighting our faces, instead of highlighting our future, directing our brows to perfection, instead of directing our minds to becoming feat... 

Where our presumed men are now dragging wigs with Nkechi Wazobia and turning whiter than snow - There I still lie.

 

  Dancing from the song of my mother's scream

   I whirled out of her enclosed-widened vagina

   Without sin I came forth

   Within sin I grew up

   Growing, I miss the picture

   Hence I pause to ask -

 Amidst all these, what do we really live for? 

   Is this the life I wished for? 

   Is this the life I longed for? 

   Is this the life I dreamt of? 

With folded hands,

 I sit here,  I stare deep, I look beyond.

This life is a facade. 

 I look deeper. I see something. 

It's a light 

It's called hope.

It lies in us. 

I hear something too, 

It's Martin Luther King Jr, screaming "Yes you can"

We can? 

We can!

We can create the Future we want

We are the youth

We are the truth

Let it speak through us. 

We are young 

We are strong. 

We should start! 

Start acting. 

Start working. 

Start dreaming. 

Start impacting. 

Start setting paces. 

Start building. 

Start walking. 

Start living. 

Start, Just start something!

I hate to sit on the fence. 

I long to sit on a better place. 

 

ABOUT THE WRITER

Ngwu Eberechukwu is a law student at the Enugu state university of science and technology.

Stalk her on social media at

Facebook ID : Bebe Ngwu

Instagram ID: Bebehills

 

 

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International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12th of every year and the year 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.

In line with that, we chose to actively participate in this year’s event by throwing open a writing competition for every Nigerian youth to share their view, opinions and ideology through a 500 words essay tagged ‘CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT’.  We received a lot of positive feedback and ideas and wish to disclose that articles not published are on the grounds of plagiarism, exceeding the maximum word count or lack of literary creativity. Every one’s entry and opinion is valid and respected. Please note that the article with the highest vote in the comment section, wins.

In no particular order, below are the top ten (10) articles.

1. CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Moses Chimazuru E.

One major trend inspire our hopefulness as a nation: youths are giving themselves and talents through voluntary efforts to conflict prevention and transformation, promotion of social justice and fostering sustainable peace in Africa and the world at large. They are taking leadership roles in pursuing sustainability by gearing advances in science and technology, reputable skills and innovation, and social/ cultural blending via the Internet.

Although the future is anxious with environmental, religious, economic, and social risks that could derail progress, we believe that a combination of social justice and peaceful co-habitation void of religious sentiments can help us overcome many of them and achieve sustainable development. Numerous government policies are now promoting sustainable peace in Africa, while many people in the business and financial communities view sustainability as a means to reduce long-term risk, enhance competitiveness, and promote social well-being.

Rather than viewing the social, environmental, and economic pillars as independent of each other, it is important for us all to understand the interconnections among them and the potential synergies that can result from sustainable peace and the practice of social justice. A new, more systemic approach to problem solving is needed to avoid unintended consequences, anticipate alternative future scenarios, and strengthen resilience in the face of uncertainty. 

Proper conflict resolution and reestablishment of the conflict-displaced persons will create new economic opportunities and produce sustainable solutions, while expanded social justice and religious/cultural peace will help to shape businesses and government policies. Achieving peace will require every young people to draft out unified and well-coordinated implementation plans across government, business, and NGOs and the public sector.

It is essential for young people of Nigeria to anticipate change, understand early warning signals, and take giant steps to avoid, reduce, and mitigate future problems. Youthful emerging concepts such as “Young African Leaders Initiative” and “BlueprintAfric” are very important parts of an overall sustainability vision.

Looking ahead, a peaceful Nigerian nation and African society void of conflicts will be best pursued by building on these trends and encouraging new collaborative initiatives among religious leaders, traditional rulers, and cultural groups. Nigerian youths of the twenty-first century must go beyond mere compliance with existing laws and instead recognize the key ingredients of peace and anticipate and plan actions to prevent future conflicts. It is important to continue to establish adequate roadmaps to peace and to identify relevant targets and indicators that facilitate benchmarking social justice and peace.

 

2.  CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Priscilla Ife-Tugbiyele

Nigeria’s economy is in crisis, economic challenges are quite formidable: poverty is at an all time high, unemployment rate is high and rising, industrial production is stagnant, infrastructures are in terrible state, a plethora of bad roads, poor electricity supply and telecommunication efficiency has fallen, insecurities and social vices threatening its existence. The Federal Government is also borrowing to finance its budget. Nigeria is now classified as a failing state. The government is gradually losing its sympathy within and outside the country. It all falls on the youths to help revamp the economy. The Nigerian youths represent the future of the country and have vital roles to play in resuscitating the economy and the country at large.

The role of the youths to nation building is too relevant to be jettisoned; they serve as the backbone of a society. It is important to state clearly that the civic role of every Nigerian is majorly patriotism which is lacking among Nigerian youths. For a nation to move forward, its citizens must love their country unconditionally. An average American says ‘God bless America’, while an average Nigerian rains curses on the country and when asked the reasons for this we simply say ‘because the country is bad’ or ‘it hasn’t done anything good for us’. We make all these statements forgetting the popular saying ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. Youths and Nigerians at large complain about how bad our leaders are, but when we get the opportunities of occupying a position of power no matter how little it is we become power drunk and start replicating the wrong actions of our leaders.

 Nigerians and Africans at large they say are not students of history. As youths and leaders of tomorrow we owe it to ourselves to learn from the mistakes of our past to create a better future, it’s our birthright. Now the ball is in our court. Most of our youths would rather go abroad and be treated as slaves than live in Nigeria. Rather than going abroad let us stay and build the dream country we want in Nigeria. Definitely it’s going to be difficult but nothing good comes easy. We need to have faith in Nigeria and work towards making our country great rather than running away like cowards to another country simply because it offers what our country cannot. Rather than having the mentality whereby we expect the country to do something for us, we should think of what we can do for the country. It is what you do that defines you, not what you get. This is why youths should get themselves actively involved in the policy making processes. Thankfully the senate passed the Not Too Young to run bill which allows youths to contest for President at the age of 35 and Governor or Senators at the age of 30. We should take advantage of this opportunity and steer our Nigeria on the right path.

 

3.  CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Peace Nwaneri

The world today is a more of a desert than an island, the sands of time never stop and the present is but a fleeting moment. The future is never certain or predictable. It is above predestination and chance. And as such, planning is key factor towards a better future. Creating “a" future is a somewhat impossible feat for who knows how long an individual, group or organization will last? Every day, newer and better innovations surface, so, in the next 20 years IPhones could be like calculators without foresight and adequate planning.

 The future enigmatic and problematic as it seems, is what everyone hopes for, a future where everyone is someone and everything is available is not utopian. However a good future is not easily gotten, and the most obtrusive factor that hinders a better future is an unforgotten, hallowed or haunting past. Nigeria, home to hundreds of ethnic groups with diverse vibrant cultures and traditions and forerunner of Africanism, still struggles under the weight of an undesirable past.

 From slavery in the 1800's to colonialism in the next century and the to the civil war, Nigeria has been rattled in more ways than one. All these events juxtaposed heralded a Nigeria which stands lopsided and divided with every man venturing out to so called greener pastures at the expense of jail time, physical and psychological abuse and in some extreme cases, death.

What then is the remedy? Forgetting the past? The past should not define a concept or phenomenon.  Rather, it should be a reference in consequent designs. A raped victim never really forgets the traumatic experience rather they heal by recognizing this repressed feelings, forgiving both the perpetrator and most importantly themselves, and committing to moving on rather than wallow in self pity. Nigeria will continually retrogress when the past still haunts its people, when suppressed feelings of a tempestuous past are given vent to via ethnic violence, terrorism, corruption, hooliganism, judgmental and bias predisposition and blatant indifference. So all hands are needed on deck if a better Nigerian future is to be built.  We must not ignore our shortcomings as a nation, for failure is but a fog through which success is viewed.

We must begin to implement policies rather than just pass bills we must be more active in governmental affairs rather than look away or console ourselves with the "God dey" speech. We must aspire towards a new Nigeria, one that accommodates its entire people regardless of their different cultures, traditions and faith. We must decolonize our minds, hearts and souls from tribalism, Euro centrism, and egoisms of all kinds.  We must create a better future for ourselves as individuals and then subsequently, the society will follow suit. We can do it. A better Nigerian future is within our grasp

 

4. CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Success Ezenwa

 Someone rightly said that "we are the architects of our own lives" and I strongly believe that statement because it implies that our future is in our hands, in the things we say and do. Yes, everything we do will always produce results in the long run, whether positive or negative, going by this, it would only be right to always or try as much as possible to do those things we are sure that are likely to produce a positive result. 

The growth of every nation depends on the activities of its people and especially the activities of the youth. Nigeria is a great nation and I believe that, but a nation cannot stay great when the youths decide to be violent and when there is disunity. This is a time to for we the youths to stand up for ourselves and create the future. But how do we do that? 

First, we have to shun violence, it is eating up and killing our future, violence is never the way and it never pays at least not in a good way. If we have anything bothering us that we think should not be the way they are, all we have to do is to speak till our voices are heard. No one is saying we should not speak but we have to do it peacefully, we have to air our views such that we do not jeopardize or put the lives of others at risk or our own lives at risk. We cannot produce good results in chaos, we cannot produce positive results when there is unrest and when there is no peace, so we have to do everything we can to make sure there is always peace. 

Also, like I already stated our future is in our hands meaning we do not have to wait for anyone to create our own future; we have to do it by ourselves. Everyone has a natural ability or gift that is extremely beneficial to the world, we have to discover our individual gifts and put it to work or make use of it to better our society. We have to be creative, innovative, motivated, proactive and optimistic as youths, we have to empower ourselves and not sit around, there are opportunities everywhere and we need to make good use of them. 

This is the time to start for time does not wait for anyone and I believe it is never too late to impact our world and make a difference. We are never too old or too young to make an impact, as long as we are creative then we can. Challenges would always be there but we have to see every challenge as an opportunity. We have to make good use of every platform including the internet. 
The future and greatness of Nigeria lies in the Nigerian youth, we have to rise, be strong, be inspired, think and come up with ideas.  
We have to create our future! 

 

5. CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Ebere Ngwu

 As a little girl who grew up in the ghetto part of the country, I was very conversant with the deplorable state of our neighbourhood. 

 Today I sat on The Fence, reminiscing the popular song sang in the old comedy skit "Jaguar", where Afolabi sang with his Khaki Short, "My belle o, my head o."  As I sat I really felt the pain in my belly and head watching my country dancing to the tunes of corruption, bribery, injustice, abject hunger, medical negligence, political backwards....etc. 

I was "On the Fence by Lenrie Peters -Where the dim past and future mingle, their nebulous hopes and as aspirations -There I lie".

In a world where the old have vehemently refused to rest in their nests and watch the youths do their bests - There I lie

 In a world where the Judiciary swear oaths just to tell lies...

Where natural beauties are replaced with snapchat dog filters... 

Where parents are never wrong and children never right.... 

Where morality is now an eyesore and immorality an idol... 

Where the elders in the House of Assembly portray Acts of babies in the kindergarten... 

Where the media are raconteurs of lies... 

Where our culture is no longer user-friendly and our language slacking with hunger and farmland garnished with droughts... 

Where being unemployed is the new employment.... 

Where people like Evans evanescence with divine political means... 

Where our young girls are engaged in using makeup pens instead of Biro pens, where we prefer highlighting our faces, instead of highlighting our future, directing our brows to perfection, instead of directing our minds to becoming feat... 

Where our presumed men are now dragging wigs with Nkechi Wazobia and turning whiter than snow - There I still lie.

Dancing from the song of my mother's scream

 I whirled out of her enclosed-widened vagina

 Without sin I came forth

 Within sin I grew up

 Growing, I miss the picture

 Hence I pause to ask -

 

 Amidst all these, what do we really live for? 

 Is this the life I wished for? 

 Is this the life I longed for? 

  Is this the life I dreamt of? 

With folded hands,

 I sit here, I stare deep, I look beyond.

This life is a facade. 

 I look deeper. I see something. 

It's a light 

It's called hope.

It lies in us. 

hear something too, 

It's Martin Luther King Jr, screaming "Yes you can"

We can? 

We can!

We can create the Future we want

We are the youth

We are the truth

Let it speak through us. 

We are young 

We are strong. 

We should start! 

Start acting. 

Start working. 

Start dreaming. 

Start impacting. 

Start setting paces. 

Start building. 

Start walking. 

Start living. 

Start, just start something!

I hate to sit on the fence. 

I long to sit on a better place. 

 

6. CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Ijeoma Okoroafor

With independence attained on first October 1960, Nigerians were jubilant and ecstatic about governing themselves. With the departure of experienced Europeans, vacating public offices and leaving them in the hands of inexperienced Nigerians, within six years after independence Nigerians were at war with themselves. Now, the scars and ruins of Nigerian civil war still lingers, with countless military coups which were bloody or bloodless, successful or unsuccessful they were all with the claim that it was of public opinion. With the scars everywhere and things left in disorderly manner all caused by corruption.

One cannot talk about the future without tracing the past especially when the ruins are still etched and leaving the citizens disillusioned. Nigerian youths could be forgiven for believing their country has no future for them, due to the fact that they have been victims of recession, currency devaluation, fuel scarcity in the midst of plenty, hardship and all due to bad leadership and corruption. Youths are the victims of whatever tutelage a society promotes whether good or bad. Nigerian leaders’ right abinitio have instilled fraud in the minds of youth through their actions by looting and syphoning funds, yet youths are blamed for yahoo and internet frauds.

Nevertheless, dwelling on the past and pointing accusing fingers is not the way forward neither does it pave way for the future. How do we as Nigerian youths create the future we want?  Nigerian youths are very innovative, if in a recessed economy innovative programs like  You win and Made in Nigeria still came up to encourage one to  buy Nigerian products it means there is still a silver lining lingering somewhere. The future we want can be created if only we begin to reach out for the future we intend to create. Reaching out for the future means harnessing the available resources we have and utilizing them adequately for the purpose of developing the country that we call our own.

Inculcating the spirit of patriotism into the minds of the citizens is a paramount requirement for the development of any nation. This can only be achieved when people are properly sensitized on the need to be selfless and committed to nation building. The media is a useful tool in the creation of awareness and proper sensitization. An informed nation no doubt is an empowered one as ignorance will do more harm than good. Giving education a priority will also go a long way in creating a future we want for our country. A properly educated child, youth and adult alike will be disciplined and adhere strictly to the rule of law.

The level of education in Nigeria has seriously depleted over time and if there must be a great future to be created, much work is needed to be done to improve the standard of schools and institutions of learning and as well sanitize the educational system of the country. If we can give attention to these things, Nigeria will be great again.         

 

7.  CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Ogunleke Adekunle                   

  A sage once said to a lad who asked question about what to do when the government's indifference serves as a hurdle on his runways. The sage told him to zoom into his palm; he would find two things, a map etched by his creator (only peculiar to him) and a compass which he has not seen. He went and looked, he found the map but the compass is a mystery. He went to the sage again, he told him to look within and around and locate himself on the map. He told the lad, he needn't any goad to roam the world.

He told him to dream and not sleep because dreams are those things which do not make you sleep. Don't forget the pencils and the erasers; you will never be too old to use them. Go to classes but learn about life, engrave your name on the platter of every hearts. Make history continue to remember your name and not forget, don't fade like the days.

We are the drivers of the vehicles of our bodies and souls, we as humans are choosers, even beggars can be choosers, they can trade poverty for wealth if the will is there, the way is here. "Disable" means "This able", when you say you are disabled, I say so you are this able! We are all beggars if we want to take from this world and never give to it.

Every hurdle marks the Genesis of a new leg, you have made it so far, you can't fall back now when the finishing line is at sight. Don't look back, you are in front, the back is for backbenchers. Don't look besides, don't mind those who cheer you and those who don't, they will join you.

An hyper-realistic artist would pick his pencil and draw lines from a dot, erase, shade, inventing not only skills and creativity but patience and perseverance. Then after the progress shots, the master piece would come as if they were not invented by human hands but machines. Through patience and perseverance, he has proved that perfection is only an illusion. He breaks the impossible by connecting the possible dots.

Life is not a bed of roses, but you can plant them if you need them.

 

 

8. CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Chidinma Rita

At a time like this, when there are vehement calls for “restructuring”, “true federalism”, “Actualization of Biafra” and accompanying hate songs and hate-inducing ultimatums; added to the already incredible challenges of poor governance, it becomes pertinent to ask, “How can we create the future we want?”

History has taught us great lessons about the critical roles of the youth in transforming the society, in the building of empires and nations. It is therefore paradoxical that in Nigeria, the youth are a demographic majority and yet the political minority; their roles being relegated to merely being mobilized as weapons of some reckless political gladiators.

The challenge ahead is to meet the needs of the Nigerian populace in a way that will restore our country to its former glory while maintaining economic prosperity.

We must come together as a force for generating new ideas, spurring innovation and generally enhancing the quality of life as we know it in Nigeria. It is very imperative that we rise up and take advantage of some platforms which has been put in place, to empower and enable the youth to play active and appropriate roles in our politics in particular, for instance, the NotTooYoungToRun bill which was recently passed by the Nigerian senate.

Continuing business as usual is no longer viable, we must take the future of our country into our own hands. We cannot afford to be silent anymore, to be the minority in the political class. We must begin active participation in the elections, we must support credible youths running for office. We must get involved, because to maximise our impact, we need strategic alliances- alliances with local stakeholders as well as with partners that can provide co-financing, guidance, knowledge and new networks.

I strongly believe that if we are proactive, adaptive and willing to take on these roles, we will not only have a say in our future, but we can also create the future we want.

 

9. CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Stephen Paebi Ayebapreye

Whenever the future is being talked about or visualized, the first thing that comes to most minds is a certain point in time. So can I ask: when is the future? Is it a second away? Is it tomorrow? Is it days or even years to come? If the future should be idealized as a point in space, can we pinpoint with certainty where it lies? Do we (“we” as used in this paper largely refers to Nigerian youths) have the (pre)requisite tools that “creating” such future so demands and requires? If ex nihilo nihil fit, must we not first possess the necessary tools for “creating” this future? That is, must we not first be “renewed” before seeking to “renew” our country?

 

Do I imply that we are not equipped and ready for this task? The answer is far from it. We are ready; most of us are. I only seek to stress the fact that this desire to wield the reins of authority to key positions in the socio-economic cum political pillars of our existential realities as a people must be matched by an unequivocal ability to create that which we desire without from within. For we must remember this fact – we are the future, and the future therefore, which we must create, is ourselves. Honest, dependable, resilient, hardworking, effective, efficient, proactive, selfless, nonviolent, and all round better versions of ourselves.

If it is uncertain when the future is when speaking in relation to space and time, we know now with certainty what or rather who the future is – you and me. How then do we create ourselves into these beings which we must be? It may seem laughable when talking about creating ourselves, especially when we remember the fact that our very existence as individual beings by no means relies on our physical power and abilities. Permit me to point out the fact that this act of creation being spoken of in this paper, although not surreal, is of a mental nature. It largely involves a restructuring of our minds. It demands that each individual makes a conscious decision and takes conscious steps toward bettering him or herself. It begs that we forfeit individualistic tendencies which prioritize the ego over the “other” for communalistic tendencies which on the other hand are more collectivistic and appreciate the fact that man is not island.

While it is truism that Nigerian youths just like every other existing collective unit comprise of individuals with varying interests, and the implication therefore is that our wants would certain times vary one from the other, and also that our methods toward achieving these wants may not be in unison, we can still create a single functioning unit from such differences. Only if we take the conscious effort to better ourselves and seek after the interests of cooperative existence all the while remembering the fact that we are the future, and where the other fails, we all fail.

 

10. CREATING THE FUTURE WE WANT By Ugwu Abraham Chidozie

What comes to mind when a subject matter of this category is considered is if there can be a future without a past or a present. Nations have histories, human birth dates, houses foundations and businesses, creation or start-up dates. There’s always a beginning that leads to everything.

According to Wikipedia, the future is what will happen in time after the present which buttresses the fact that there cannot be a future without a past and a present. Countries that are advanced and seems to be stable today achieved their feats by a collective effort and the strong determination to succeed. This is not without a spirit of selflessness and true patriotism. These efforts would not have been meaningful if at some point, they refused to revisit the mistakes and the failures encountered in the past and build on the present. Every country has its past and history and it is the accumulation of events in their pasts and as well the present that produces a future for them. This explains why the picture of every future is solely dependent on decisions, actions and events that were either made or occurred in the past as well as the present.

Nigeria gained full independence in October 1960, as a confederation of three states: Northern, Southern and Eastern. This independence was fought for by heroes past who believed in and cherished true freedom. Upon her independence it witnessed various challenges and conflicts which eventually some were overcame. As time went by, some actions and decisions taken by some of the past leaders and citizens alike gradually culminated into the messy state it has led the country into today. These include corruption, poverty, violence, insecurity amongst other vices. These vices have eaten so deep into virtually all aspects and sectors of the nation’s economy.

The first step to creating a great future for our dear country is to revisit the past as well as the present state we are in. Revisiting the past means looking critically to the origin and root cause of the challenges we have, identifying them, and devising means of proffering solutions to them. There should have been things our past leaders never did which they should have done, things they shouldn’t have done that they did and maybe things that required some sort of limits that they exaggerated. Information is another vital tool for creating a viable and sustainable future. Ignorance is detrimental to the development of any country or state which explains why education should be given premium attention as an informed country is an empowered one. In addition, creating a future requires a collective effort, thus people have to be sensitized on the need of been disciplined, patriotic, selfless and obedient to the rule of law.

In conclusion, we must be determined to make Nigeria great again because when patriotism and determination collides with selflessness in a society of disciplined and informed individuals, the result can only be positive and great.        

Vote your favourite article on the comment section below. Example; I vote Number A or I choose Number B. The article with the highest vote wins.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                    

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“I marched round the spot where she died twice, twice just as she told me to. If my mother had seen me , she might have called the priest again. I had to be careful. I knelt on the spot; the memories are as fresh as the humus that covers her

remains. I placed my palm on the mound where her head was laid and I called her. The dead remains dead. She didn’t belong to us anymore. She needed to go home. We walked in silence down to the river…..I came to fulfill my own part of the

bargain, the bargain of the bargain. Idemilli is always on time to collect. I set her course towards the river.”

 

Nwando got home just in time to finish cooking for her husband. He was so grumpy when he was hungry. After she prepared dinner, she walked to her mother’s hut. She was happy to be in the last months of her pregnancy. Her mother was

weaving her baskets. She stood, looking from far. She loved her and yet somehow didn’t. The first sharp pain made her wince, the baby was here.

She stared at her baby in disbelief; the sooth sayer told her she would bear a son. All that time wasted for a child that was doomed to die. 6 days later she sat staring at her dead baby girl. Idemili is always on time to collect.

 

Location; police station

Date:2017

 

Sergeant john was tired of listening to this woman. She came in everyday for the past 3 weeks crying and screaming that her daughter had to be found. She dragged them to where eyewitnesses last saw her daughter. Nneka refused to be

consoled; she had done everything she could. She prayed and prayed…refusing to believe that all her grandmother told her. Just as she and the prophet she came with began to launch supposed spiritual bullets into the ocean, detective Mma

walked along the shore towards them. She had been the one who traced chisimdi’s last location.

“quite a characteristic of you Nneka, always pleading , always crying, never accepting. I am always on time to collect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IJE

I went from believing in truth to acting solely on lies

I went from innocence to small mindedness

I went from black and white to grey area

In this journey I had to learn,

And it didn’t matter what I earned.

There with no pause button

Sometimes broken, sometimes bent.

Those nights, spent repenting

Days spent, pretending

I have known peace

But it has slipped from me

I remember what it feels like

But I can’t have it.

I know peace

But my mind has travelled farther

It has wandered

With each experience

 One more, metal sheets of resistance.

Now, the journey has changed

And my armor heavier

I am slow

With each step, I shed

I peel flesh and iron fused

I appreciate the pain now

There is peace in accepting me

My journey continues.

 

 

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1. You'll get a real rush from dating a guy who never interrupts you. Or, if he does, he immediately notices and says sorry. Being able to passionately talk without being cut off is borderline orgasmic

 

2. The dreaded ~silent moments~ are actually freaking wonderful. You’ll never come home exhausted from work and feel like you have to nonstop gab right away. You can both cuddle without the crushing pressure of filling every minuscule gap in a conversation. This is what I call extremely underrated bliss.

 

3.  Him being quiet does NOT mean he’s mad at you. LOL, this one will probably drive you nuts because you know when *you* get quiet, it’s 100% intentional passive aggressiveness designed to make the other person slowly crumble. Or it might not be but not to the shy guy. He truly, genuinely is just floating in his own world for a second.

 

4. He really thrives over text. The conversation floodgates really open when he has access to emojis and time to think before he speaks.

 

5. You have to really ask him about himself, otherwise you might miss some big stuff. Shyness is strongly correlated to modesty, and if you don’t ask him for details on how his things have been going for him, he’ll probably skip right over it. The bigger the accomplishment, the more your conversations’ feel like interrogations.

 

6. And you’re constantly learning crazy huge chunks of information about him. Just when you think you know him, he’ll tell you he met Obama once and they talked for 10 whole minutes. Its possible, don’t judge. Shy guys are awesome like that.

 

7. He’ll also ask you things no one else ever thought to. This guy has spent a lot of hours intently listening to you, so don’t be too shocked when he throws you a philosophical curveball like “If you never reach [x long-term goal], do you think you could ever be truly happy?”

 

8. Sometimes he listens TOO well. Basically, if you lied about liking something to impress him in the beginning stages of your courtship, it will come out eventually when you say you hate the same stuff. And he notices.

 

9. It’ll take him a while to warm up to your friends. Because he’s not the type to interrupt  a lot (or, at all), bigger group settings make him seem like all he’s secretly judging and roasting everyone in his head between every silent, polite nod. So yeah, one on one friends are basically his thing.

 

10. you’ll love his friends a LOT, though. Because he’s so shy, the people who end up being his closest friends are usually the kinder, more patient people who won’t immediately write off that person standing awkwardly by themselves at a party or gathering . And you won’t feel like you need to be “on” when you first chill with them because, uh, have you met your own boyfriend?

 

11. Loud men, in contrast, will irritate you more than they did before. Once you spend a lot of time with a man who never aggressively tries to out-joke other people or constantly offers annoying commentary during game of thrones, you develop an even lower tolerance for the men who do.

 

12. You will get protective any time a guy implies your man’s quietness is weakness. This pretty much explains itself

 

13. He shows his love in way more practical, personal ways. Sure, he won’t go on and on about how hot you are all the time (which isn’t even indicative of a great guy, to be honest). He will, however, get that meal you secretly crave (awwnnnn). All of that on TOP of telling you he loves you, in that charmingly timid way of his.

 

14 You will fall for the shyness more and more. You know him getting nervous around you or getting so nervous that he actually stammers just means he is full of the warmest feelings for you.

 

15 You’re with him because, deep down, you’re probably a little shy too. Yeah, you may comparatively talk more than him at a party, but if you never experienced social anxiety or the intense need to scroll through your phone to avoid small talk, you wouldn’t get him, or love him as much as you do.

 

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