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Friend zones are not really a bad thing as most men would think. Not every relationship starts off with the usual toasting - that’s almost a boring cliché. And not all friend zones translates to a terrible rejection. There are parts of being friend-zoned that does rock. 

1. Being in the friend zone improves your confidence and comfort level with women. This is particularly true if you don’t have much experience with the opposite sex. This can make future dates less awkward and more successful.

2. You’ve got more opportunities to meet new women. You can grow your pool of dating prospects by meeting more women through your lady friend. Whether it’s her friends or friends’ friends, the friend zone is an untapped resource of new women just waiting to be discovered.

3. She could be your partner in crime. When you’re seeking mischief and need a partner, a friend zone buddy can be the Bonnie to your Clyde.

4. Welcome to free dating and relationship advice. Having a female friend allows you to get an exclusive glimpse into the feminine mind, as well as how they view dating and relationships. She can provide unsolicited relationship advice and this can be less embarrassing and more effective than asking your bro squat for help.

5. You can work on your emotions. Painful pasts or skeletons buried deep within your closet may make it difficult for you to open up. A female friend can provide a safe harbor for these emotions and enables you to practice de-stressing.

6. There’s no waiting game. Waiting for that text, call or Facebook message can be excruciating. But being friend-zoned alleviates the pressure of if or when they’ll respond to you reaching out. Sure, it’s annoying when a buddy doesn’t reply to you right away, but the anticipation of waiting on a crush is much more ulcer-inducing. 

7. You’ll learn what qualities you want in a partner. Spending an insane amount of time with a girl who isn’t shy to show all of herself because your relationship is platonic is a smart way to see the characteristics of a woman that you are, and aren’t, attracted to. 

8. Honesty is the best policy. Because her goal isn’t to entice you in order to date you, a female sidekick will lay out the truth for you in ways that you may not be familiar with. 

9. There’s always the possibility of more. There’s never a guarantee that the relationship will stay within the platonic borders. The idea that it can grow into something more exciting can be super enticing.[Stephanie]

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It's almost an ironic pattern that women complain about men who are deceitful but that's the ones they go after a lot. If you are among the good ones, who are always over-looked for the ones who are always in forever search of everything & nothing, here are some things to do that might get her to notice you.

1. Look the part:

It’s true that when you’re feeling’ yourself, women will take notice. A good outfit goes a long way both because you’ll look fine AF and because you’ll exude more confidence. Even if you’re nervous about what to talk to her about, you can rest assured that your clothes gave off a damn good first impression.

2. Be decisive:

OK, for this one you do have to say a few words. But it’s equally important. If you feel inclined to approach a woman and ask her out, do it. It’s important to remember that, if you get rejected, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t start questioning why you even asked her out in the first place; instead, brush yourself off and try again with someone new. Women love when a man takes initiative, just be sure to have an actual date in mind; don’t be the guy to ask her what she feels like doing when you’re the one who asked her out.

3. Fake it till you make it:

You don’t have to be the best-looking guy in the room so long as you’re confident rocking what you’ve got. Sure, some other dude might have bigger biceps than you, but that’s not everything. Stand up straight, smile, look her in the eye and be flirtatious. Wooing women is very much about body language, so fake confidence until you’ve got confidence.

4. Respect yourself:

Being self assured means that you’re secure in your opinions and beliefs. This kind of guy doesn’t care what other people think about him and is often hard to manipulate. When it comes to women, he doesn’t waste time trying to figure out why a girl hasn’t texted him back. Instead, he knows that it didn’t work out for a reason, and he’s ready for the woman who’s right for him. Women love a man with this trait because, when you respect yourself, you respect others.

5. Work on yourself:

Maybe you blame your appearance, slow metabolism or overall shitty game on failed pick-ups, but that’s not how attraction works. Success with women has little to do with extraneous circumstances. There is someone out there for you; she just might not have been at last weekend’s party. Work on your self-care rituals, personal growth and goals outside of relationships and your confidence will grow. Be passionate about what you love and it’s only a matter of time that the right woman will come crawling to you.

And remember: Women can be just as insecure and self-conscious, so loosen up and just go for it. After all, what have you got to lose?


Cc: Meghan

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There’s a common assumption that men are harder to lock down than women; that women are inevitably looking for something serious even if they deny looking for something serious.  But contrary to popular belief, a lot of single women are indeed just looking to hook up. For women focused on friends, careers, fitness or something else, securing a friends-with-benefits situation is a sweet deal. Here are some easy clues she'll drop to hint that she's the one not looking for anything more.

She says she’s not looking for anything serious:

This isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes she’s lying because she thinks you’re not looking for any commitment, and she doesn’t want to come on too strong. But often she legitimately means it. If she says it without you initiating any talk of your commitment-phobia, it’s less likely she’s just trying to convince you it’s all good—and more likely she’s just looking for casual, convenient sex... or that she just likes hanging out with you.

 She doesn’t initiate the commitment talk:

 In the same vein, if she really wants to be with you, it’ll keep her up at night wondering if she’s the only one you’re seeing. Eventually, she’ll ask you about it. If months go by and she doesn’t, it’s because she doesn’t care whether you’re dating or sleeping with other people, because she is, too.

 She says she’s "finding" herself:

Women hate hearing this from men. They prefer you find yourself, they find themselves and you two grow together. So If she says any version of this statement (like she’s working on herself), it means she’s into you but she’s got other priorities. Even though she’s trying to get to the gym more often and focus on work, she still has a few spare hours throughout the week to hook up. But not enough time or desire to extend that to a relationship.

She tells you about other men:

Unless she’s clearly trying to make you jealous, she wouldn’t be telling you about her rendezvous with other dudes. If she does, it’s probably because you’ve been friend-zoned—even if you're sleeping together.

She avoids your pursuits—but not all the time:

 If you find that you’re the one always initiating plans, or that she’s flaking on your plans, it’s probably because you’re a second, third or fourth option—which is why she’ll sometimes kick it with you. It’s a harsh reality, yes, but if she really wanted to be with you, she’d want to hang out with you, and she’d probably ditch her other plans to do so. Of course things do come up, but if canceling becomes a regular occurrence, make no mistake: She’s not looking to seriously date.

She's flaky about planning:

 Likewise, if she gives you a vague response as to when you can rain check, it's probably because she doesn't want to make the commitment to hanging out with you because she's unsure as to whether she'll still feel like it when the time comes around. If she wanted to be serious, she'd be thinking in advance.

 She won’t introduce you to her friends or family:

 If it’s been a while and you’ve yet to meet the people closest to her, it’s not because she’s nervous, which she might tell you; it’s because she doesn’t care enough that she needs affirmation from them. If you were a serious prospect, she’d want their opinions as soon as it wasn’t creepy to invite you to meet them.

 She has girls nights all the time.

Girls’ nights are a thing that continues even through marriage. And often it really is just the girls. But other times, it really is just the girls until one or more of the girls brings a man into the mix—a boyfriend, husband, third wheel, whomever. So if she insists that it’s a girls’ night, it’s likely that she could tell you to come hang later on, but she's just not up for that kind of commitment.

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People lie for a lot of reasons, but it’s usually to keep someone off their back about something or cover up an act. When it comes to dating, we're all guilty of a little bit of lie—or at least omitting the truth—sometimes to reel people in or push them away. Here are some of the most common white lies women tell, what they really mean, and how you can handle it.

I AM NOT INTERESTED IN ROMANCE

What we really mean:  We’re not stage-five clingers, but we’re human, so yeah, romance might happen.

What to do about it: If she says this to you, it doesn’t mean she’s going to have you in a headlock asking you to propose in a month, but it does mean she’s cautious of the common dude’s biggest concern: the clinger. Be prepared that any woman you get involved with might develop feelings. It’s only natural. If you can’t handle the possibility, be very direct and create boundaries.

I DON’T WASTE TIME IN GETTING READY FOR EVENTS

What we really mean: It might be five minutes; it might be 45 minutes. Don’t worry about it.

What to do about it: You need to make a drink, pull out your phone and be prepared to pass the time with patience. We may actually shoot for five minutes, but we can’t account for obstacles like our planned outfit not fitting right, or our hair not cooperating.

I CAN GO WITH THE FLOW

What we really mean: We are pretty easygoing, as long as things go the way we want.

What to do about it: For the guy’s girl who will literally do whatever you want, good looks. But the majority of women like to have a little control, and often have their own interests outside of yours, so you should probably get to know us a little better. That way, your suggestions are in alignment with what we like. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice what you like or want to do, but it shouldn’t be something you know we’ll hate.

I DON’T PUT A LOT OF TIME INTO MY LOOKS

What we really mean: We don’t want you to think we’re fake, but yes, we keep up with our appearances.

What to do about it: If by not putting a lot of time into our looks means not dying our roots every two weeks, wearing fake eyelashes on the reg or getting Botox, fine. But many of us we do pluck, wax and shave. We do like to smell good, and we do like to wear clothes that make us feel good. You may not know it, but sometimes our tans are paid for and our glowing skin that’s makeup-free is the result of a damn good facials. Just embrace it.

I DON’T GET MAD EASILY

What we really mean: We won’t get mad, as long as it doesn’t piss us off.

What to do about it: We don’t want to be mad at you, but if you’re keeping something from us because you think we might get mad, we’ll probably get mad. We also won’t let it go until you tell us what’s up, so there’s really no easy way out here. Just be honest and deal with the consequences.

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Relationship runs deeper waters beyond sex and money. It takes a whole lot of work; discipline, commitment and trust. It goes above the manuals, your previous knowledge, and understanding and learning a new person, in every new relationship you go into.

Below, find seven strategies for strengthening your relationship, none of which take more than 10 minutes.


Try 'mindful conversation':

"Mindful conversation" isn't designed to help romantic couples, per se — but it's a useful exercise in learning to actually listen to what your partner is saying, instead of tuning out or waiting for your chance to jump in.

Here's how it works (one of you can be "A" and the other can be "B"):

1. A talks and B listens for a set time period (say, three minutes)

2. B responds with, "What I heard you say is …"

3. A gives feedback and B responds until A is satisfied.

4. A and B switch roles.

It might be awkward at first, but it gets easier over time.


Hug or kiss your partner:

Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin previously told Business Insider that she and her family make a habit of practicing "warm greetings and farewells." Every time someone comes or goes, everyone gives a sincere hello or goodbye.

It's a habit most couples could stand to adopt. According to IKEA's "Life at Home" report, while most people surveyed say it's important to hug or kiss their partner in the morning, far fewer people report showing this kind of physical affection before heading out the door.

And yet research suggests that physical affection is related to greater satisfaction in romantic relationships. So take a minute or two to show your partner how much you care about them.


Say 'thank you' for something small:

In "The Gratitude Diaries," journalist Janice Kaplan chronicles her yearlong experiment with being more grateful for everything and everyone in her life — including her husband.

She writes that thanking her husband for something as small as fixing a leaky faucet ended up improving her overall marriage.

As Business Insider's Erin Brodwin has reported, psychologists have known for a while that couples who express gratitude toward each other are more likely to stay together. In fact, thanking your partner even once can bring you two closer months later.

That's possibly because a single act of gratitude sparks a cycle of gratitude and generosity: You thank your partner, so your partner feels appreciated and invests more in the relationship, which in turn makes you feel more grateful to them.

 



Reaccess the division of household chores:

On the "Best of Both Worlds" podcast, time-management expert Laura Vanderkam and physician Sarah Hart-Unger recommend a simple strategy to relieve some of the stress from your relationship.

There are two steps:

1. Each person writes down all the family responsibilities they're currently taking care of.

2. Each person shares which of those responsibilities they enjoy, and which they don't.

The point is to figure out how much of the burden you're really shouldering, and to figure out if you can "swap" some chores so everyone's doing the things they enjoy.


Try the 'just like me' exercise:

That's a tip from Chade-Meng Tan, a former Google engineer and the creator of the "Search inside Yourself" emotional-intelligence course.

In his 2012 book, also called "Search inside Yourself," Tan explains how he handles conflict with his wife:

"I visualize the other person in the next room. I remind myself that this person is just like me, wants to be free from suffering just like me, wants to be happy just like me, and so on. And then I wish that person wellness, happiness, freedom from suffering, and so on.

"After just a few minutes of doing this, I feel much better about myself, about the other person, and about the whole situation. A large part of my anger dissipates immediately."


Practice the '10-minute rule':

The 10-minute rule is a suggestion from sociology professor and relationship expert Terri Orbuch.

As Orbuch describes it in her book "5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great," the rule is a "daily briefing in which you and your spouse make time to talk about anything under the sun — except kids, works, and household tasks or responsibilities."

For example, you might want to ask:

• Do you think you are/were closer to your mom or dad? Why?

• What age do you feel like inside? Why?

• What do you think are the top-three worst songs of all time?

• What is the one thing you want to be remembered for?

According to Orbuch, learning new information about your partner makes things feel fresh and new again, and "mimics the emotional and physical state you were in during the first few years of your marriage."


Learn something new about your partner:

In his 2014 book, "Mindwise," psychologist Nicholas Epley cites research suggesting that we think we know our partners a lot better than we really do. (Epley had a personal experience in which his wife bought him his least favorite ice cream flavor, thinking he'd love it.)

So Nicholas puts forth a simple solution: Don't assume you know everything about your partner. Ask questions and listen to the answers.[Pulse]

 

 

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After much research and survey, Alicia Walker has found out the clichés about what women look for in lovers is not necessarily true and women who cheat, do that for a different reason and is not to leave their husbands.

When Alicia Walker, a sociologist and researcher at Missouri State University set out to look into why women cheat on their husbands, she expected to find results in tune with what people often assume about them. For example, people tend to talk about how infidelity happens when women want to seek out emotional support, or they fall in love with someone else.


However, as laid out in her book "The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity," her findings were anything but cliché. She talked to 46 women in total, through the adult dating website Ashley Madison, and none of them were looking for anything other than physical connections. They weren't looking for anyone to support them emotionally — they just wanted men who were sexually compatible.

 

"They were very practical and methodical in their decision making and then their vetting of who they were going to get involved with," Walker told Business Insider. "And they were very clear it had nothing to do with whether or not he was a nice guy ... So none of the sentimentality that we seem to want to assign women. They talked a lot about how participating in this was sort of this exercise of power and freedom for them."

The women weren't looking for love elsewhere, because all but two of them said they still loved their husbands. They were simply looking to be satisfied in bed.

"The women I spoke to are cheating to stay married," Walker said. "They're not cheating for revenge, or to get out of a marriage, or to get the husband to notice them through bad behaviour. It's none of those things."

 

Walker explained that they no longer had sex with their husbands at all, or at least their partners weren't bothered about giving them orgasms.

"They very much presented this scenario that their marriages are either completely sexless, or orgasmless — at least for the women themselves," she said. "They very much convey that: if I don't do something to address this, I'm going to end up leaving. I'm going to end up breaking up my family, breaking my children's hearts, breaking my husband's heart, and I just don't need that."

Overall, the women felt like cheating was working, and they were all very careful to ensure their husbands never found out about the infidelities. They spoke to Walker about all the positive things their lovers brought to their lives, without having to commit to anything other than sex.

 

"Most of them said that none of the men they were involved with outside their marriage were as good as their husbands are, at least not as good a person," Walker said. "They talked a lot about the ways that doing this had benefited them. It had made them more relaxed, less stressed, and there was less tension in the marriage. A lot of them talked about how before they started doing this they had all this resentment for their husbands, because of the sexual failure.

 

"By outsourcing the sex, they were able to come home and be more like the wife and mother that they really wanted to be."

 

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Dear Mama

Behind the facade of our daily tiffs, beneath the moments we do not see eye to eye, and though I pretend sometimes not to get your points, I have come to recognize your noble intentions: to raise good daughters of stellar character. And in this I shall liken you to a gardener tending her plants with fevered care, turning the rich loam, plucking out weeds and watering the soil.
You toil away with furrowed brows, with an attention that does not waver in rain and in shine. A dutiful gardener glories in the flourishing of her plants; she stands aside with pride and observes the lush greenery and says to herself, look what my hands have made; my labour of love was not in vain.

This also holds true for every woman who has donned the garb of motherhood; just as a gardener, she is judged harshly or kindly by how well the fruits of her womb fare in a world so contrary. But you need not fear, for even when we leave your presence, your words keep tending us. It is your voice we hear behind our ears urging us to pull ourselves up when the weight of the world has toppled our weary frame. It is your words that steer our feet away from that which would mar eventually, though it entices for a moment.

Yesterday I overheard my neighbour rebuke her teenage daughter after she, the daughter, had broken the nth tumbler in a week. What would I do with you? She said. Is this how you will break all the things in your husband’s house? Though I chuckled at the familiarity of those words, it stirred a debate in my mind. My neighbour’s rebuke sounded like your favourite maxim: Men want assets not liabilities. You said this to me by way of correction when I showed slackness in my ways or moments when I wanted to eschew work and get things done through a shorter route. Men want assets not liabilities, you’d say tugging at your earlobe. You are not the only one I hear this from. I hear it from the preachers’ pulpit at the delivery of an impassioned sermon, I hear it from the motivational speakers’ podium when an audience is urged to up its ante, I hear it from kitchen gossips of aunties, I hear it when I am at play with my friends. It is also there in the movies, when the wealthy prince picks the industrious banana hawker over the slay queen with acrylic nails, and some passersby on their way to the stream, deliver the didactic punch line: men want assets not liabilities.

All maxims such as this hold an underlying truth, but only with a side eye squint do you see how flawed and tilted its notion is. Have you noticed that most rebuke and chastisement given to daughters end with how the mishap would augur ill with men? “Do not do that; no man wants it. Do not be untidy, make your bed; men do not like scruffy women. Learn to cook better; men like good cooks. Go to school get a job; men like educated, hardworking women.” And in this way a daughter is raised with a chorus of what men like, what men want, what men prefer. It’s similar to what Margaret Atwood called fulfilling the male fantasy.

Wouldn’t it be better you showed me how my decision would better me or negate me without constantly holding it up under the light of male approval? I too, as much as you dream, want to be an asset. I want to contribute meaningfully to life, to say this thing became better because I was involved, to look at someone and know that a decision or an action of mine would light the path for him. But when my actions are viewed through the lens of the male gaze, I am raised to forget that there is no one else to give account for than myself; I am raised to hinge my life on societal approval, a thing too ephemeral and shaky to build one’s life on.

In your days men preferred the fleshy woman to the slim woman. That explained the existence of fattening rooms. Girls went into those rooms skinny and came out plump. No one wanted a bonga fish for a wife. Fast forward to 2001 when Agbani Darego became most beautiful girl in the world and a preference for slimmer women became de rigueur, somewhat ending the reign of the fleshy woman. There was also a time housewives were preferred to working women; men wanted women who minded the home solely without the encumbrances of a day job. But since the recent economic crunch, a working woman is much more eligible than one who holds no job. Gainfully employed women would augment and aid in financial responsibilities at home.

But with each revised preference, what have your daughters become? Clowns miming to the whims of society under the guise of living up to the male gaze? Objects constantly adjusting their positions to fit into the vision of society? Wouldn’t it be better if we went to school because education gave us the advantage? Worked good jobs because we ought to make a living? What if we were raised to exist fully without the constant ring of living up to a man’s gaze?

Every wise person is drawn to assets, people who would add value to their ventures. Every employer wants a remarkable employee who would bring something of worth to the table. This is a given. Even the loafer is not left out; he wants an asset in a woman form. Stories abound of industrious women shagging it up with very prodigal men. All of the world hungers for valuable people.

But I’d rather I live the highest version of myself with nobler intentions beyond eligibility, without bothering to lower my value or become who I am not just because I seek to sit well with men, society, anyone.

Your Daughter.


Credit: Ucheoma Onwutuebe

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Olamide and Aisha Craig are UK based Nigerian couple who have created an online dating platform for Nigerians at home and abroad called SuruLereLove. Olamide is a medical doctor and pastor and is a BellaNaija contyributor. Aisha is a banker and a health and wellness enthusiast and together, they are passionate about building love and relationships.

In anticipation of the launch of SuruLereLove on November 30th, the couple are sharing with BellaNaija, what the platform is about and how their plans for it.

“Sùúrù l èrè is a Yoruba phrase. Sùúrù means patience, èrè means reward and Surulere means “Patience is not without its rewards” or “Patience will yield its fruit”. It is from this ancient traditional wisdom that we have distilled the words of our brand. At SuruLerelove we truly believe that “you can’t rush something you want to last forever!” and we know that all good relationships take time and patience to develop. That is why we chose to use patience to encapsulate the ethos of our corporate identity,” they said.

On how the platform is different, the couple says that that “unlike other dating sites where sexual attraction and instant gratification are the most important criteria for choosing a mate, members of SuruLereLove fill out a detailed personality profile and a comprehensive list of preferred characteristics which is used to match them with the most suitable and eligible singles.”

The couple says the platform is not a Christian dating site and is open to everyone regardless of their religion, ethnicity or creed. “The principles of good practice one can expect from true Christians will continue to govern our platform,” they added.

What it takes to join:
It’s free. No cost whatsoever. Everyone who signs up is automatically assigned our complimentary welcome plan. We have set the duration at 6 months in the first instance, and users can request for this to be refreshed at the end of this period should they require. We have a few paid subscription packages, but will not be rolling these out until much later, at the end of the year 2018.


On Whether Nigeria is ready for Online Dating:

Nigeria already has online dating. People have been finding love online via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for years, (and MySpace and Hi5 before that). What SuruLereLove hopes to do is to eliminate the guess work. On social media, there are millions of users who are on these platforms for various reasons; they are online looking for business, news, entertainment etc. On our platform all the users have signed up because they are looking for exactly the same thing, Lifelong love! This way you know that your advances would be met with at least curiosity and not repulsion.

How SuruLereLove hopes to expand a user’s social circles:
Surulerelove was created to introduce people and start relationships. Our primary market is the Nigerian community at home and in the diasporas and our goal is to foster “life long love”. We have chosen three broad strategies with which to execute this.

First is to introduce Nigerians in Nigeria to other Nigerians living in Nigeria. This will appeal to busy professionals who may find it hard to make time to date the traditional way, or members whose social circles are too small for desired mate selection, or who have very specific/niche dating pools (i.e Fitness, Star Wars fans, Single parents).

This member has exhausted potential mates from within their existing reach and is looking to expand this further afield. Next we hope to introduce Nigerians in the diaspora who are looking to marry from the home land to other eligible singles that live in Nigeria and abroad.

Launch Date & How to Sign up:
To sign up, users will create an account and fill out a user profile. Our sign up process is a bit more detailed than most conventional dating sites, but we feel that this was necessary to extract a fair amount of information and help our users eliminate the guess work that can often make online dating tedious and cumbersome.

The official launch date is Thursday 30th of November 2017 and the sign up link will be posted on BellaNaija as well as across all their social media platforms @SuruLereLove.

 

 

 

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My name is Nene. I want to share my story with you. My love story actually. I was one of the few teens who don’t believe in true love. I was a true fan of Zee world movies, Telemundo and all of those Bollywood movies always concerned about love. I watch them only to adopt the principle of love realism not the philosophy of true love. My mum didn't even help matters, always telling us that the depicted moments and scenes were all false, that the cast were only doing their job. I don't know but I think my mindset followed suit.

I had a crush then or rather one who was crushing on me. Then, I can't tell the type of coincidence that makes the boy to always buy from my mom's shop whenever she's away. It was a coincidence to me then but it was later in life that I realized it was stalking. Poor me! My kid sis once told me that she likes him only for the reason that he never bargains for the price of any item he wants to buy. If only she knew why...Lol.

At the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus where I gained admission in 2010 after my second sitting to study Radiology, I met crazy friends, some of whom have similar mindset. Soon, 042 Night clubs became our Night vigil venue. Trust me nah, as a smart girl, I was very careful with the boys I flirt with. I audibly let their boundaries known to them despite chopping their money. After all, Na dem wey wan spend. I wasn't a runs girl, I don't sleep around, I don't drink a much, and I wasn't bad at all. In fact, I was serious with my academics, a bookworm actually. You won't believe it when I say that I read for at least an hour after each outing. My friends respect me for that. All I was doing was just to gain knowledge of boys, the opposite sex' lifestyle so that probably when I eventually fall in love I won't be cheated on or maltreated. Useless ideology!

After my Graduation and Service to my fatherland, I was retained in the hospital where I served. During my sixth month as a staff, a young male doctor was transferred to our hospital. I met him on my return from two-week leave.

OMG! Am shy to write this. I’ve never felt that way beforehand. It was magical. I was going up the stairs the next morning to give the Junior Doctor the analysis and interpretation of a radiograph result belonging to one tibia-fractured young boy. ‘This guy’ was coming downstairs in a doctor’s coat. I greeted him in this accent I’ve been learning for weeks and bypassed. Unaware of the recent changes in the hospital, I went and knocked on Doctor Ben’s door. It was locked.

“Who is looking for me?” a masculine but romantic voice sounded. To me, it was a loud whisper. I swirled. So, this guy followed me. The silence which ensued was a kind of awkward which would have lasted for like eternity if not for the feeling of uncomfortability or was it shyness. I blurted, “Sorry, erm, erm…Am just looking for Doctor Ben to give him these, sorry do you work here?” “You are actually looking for Doctor Frank”, that voice came again. “Were you the Radiologist on leave?” He asked while unlocking the door. Yes I am. I noticed the changes in the office. It looked different, nice and a bit luxurious. Choi! This guy geh taste o. “Sir is Ben no longer in this office?” He let out a charming smile. Does this guy know he’s tormenting me?

“You know, many things happened while you were away, I was transferred to your hospital, Ben was transferred to where I came from”. I wondered why Jane, World class News broadcaster and a gossip mate of mine never told me this...ohh, she travelled! “I see, welcome”, I mumbled, “My pleasure meeting you”, He said demanding a handshake, we shook hands. “Am Nene, Frank right?” He nodded. I dropped the result on his table and ‘ran’ out… acting professional. The next day, he was in my office, we chatted for a while, exchanged numbers. We started talking on phone, Whatsapp chatting when less busy. I liked this guy, his personality, his gentility, his choice of words, awww..his handsomeness. I fell in love. The same true love I antagonized ab-ini-tio. Supposedly, our colleagues noticed us, gossips followed, who cares kwan?

A fortnight later, I was on a date with Frank. It was a Sunday evening. We were enjoying the cool evening breeze at Golden Royale Hotel, Enugu. We were at the bar, drinking and chatting. Suddenly, Frank let it out, “Nene please be my girlfriend”, his eyes pleading. I thought ‘Yes’ shouldn’t be the right answer. I told him to give me some time to have a thought on it. I was sure he knew I was just doing shakara. I eventually said YES. I told him about my feelings for him, He however told me of his crushing on me from the very first day.

We dated for three months before solemnizing our matrimonial vow at the altar of The Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd, Independence layout, Enugu. You are invited to the Naming ceremony of our first child ‘Miss Kamso Daniels’.


About the writer

Solomon Akpa is a Young blogger and creative writer. He is currently studying Anatomy at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology

Follow him on facebook @ Solomon Akpa

 

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A mother has spoken out about how she discovered her daughter was being sexually abused by her father.

Samantha (not her real name) said she "knew in her gut" that something was wrong with her little girl, Gemma (also not real name) after her behavior began to "deteriorate" shortly after her parents split up. The couple split up when Gemma was 3 and over the next few years, her behavior deteriorated. It wasn't until the child was 9 years that she finally told her mother what her father had been doing to her. The brave mum is now sharing how she got her daughter to speak up.

Samantha said: "Gemma was a normal, happy child when she was very young but things started to change when I separated from her father when she was three years old. Gemma’s behavior continued to deteriorate over the next few years and when she was seven, I had a gut feeling that something was wrong. I felt I needed to talk to her."

The concerned mother found out about the PANTS campaign which helps adults teach children that their body belongs to them and only them, and they should talk to an adult if they are upset or worried. PANTS is an acronym that where P stands for Privates are private, A is Always remember your body belongs to you, N stands for No means no, T is Talk about secrets that upset you and finally S is Speak up, someone can help.

When Gemma was nine, her mother saw the PANTS campaign online and decided to go through it with her one evening. In the process, her daughter made a shocking revelation.

"She disclosed that her father had sexually abused her. I just listened and got her to bed before contacting the police and reporting the abuse. She is ten now, she’s safe and a weight has been lifted off her shoulders. It’s been very hard."

She is now urging other parents to use PANTS to help keep their children safe.

"My advice to parents is to use the PANTS rule as early as possible. I wish I’d used it sooner. Its child friendly and uses age appropriate language," Samantha advised.

 

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