Celebrating Independence - 419 Reasons to like Nigeria

October 1st is the independence day of Nigeria, and it's been 51 years since the country got independence from Britain. While we have nothing much to celebrate, today, I'm joining hundreds of other bloggers and social media users on a positive campaign for Nigeria, facilitated by ‘The 419Positive Project’.
For too long, Nigeria and Nigerians have been readily associated with the online scams, financial crime and impersonation - termed ‘419’. However, beyond the unfortunate stereotyping, there are several positive characteristics and cogent intriguing traits of the country Nigeria, and its people. Some of these are highlighted below as part of the ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ campaign which enlisted 100 volunteers and bloggers to share reasons why they like Nigeria. These reasons echo the voices of Nigerians, with resonating similar themes.
The full list of ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available www.419positive.org  
The list of contributors to ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available here
If you would like to say something positive about Nigerians and Nigeria, please do so here.

419 Reasons to Like Nigeria

NIGERIA - THE LAND OF POTENTIAL AND OPPORTUNITY
v  I like Nigeria because it is a land of endless opportunities and possibilities. Nigeria is one country whose true potentials I believe the world is yet to experience. I believe Nigerians are sharp, brilliant and accommodating people. Giving the right enabling environment the world will marvel at what Nigeria will become.
v  Nigeria is the most populous black nation - and a buying one at that. From a capitalist point of view, this makes for great investment opportunities.
v  The fact that Nigeria currently lags behind so much - in infrastructure and developmental terms - hints at the size of the potential for innovation and transformation, and at the huge number of vacancies that exist for 'transformers'. What I think this means is that the world will be hearing a lot about Nigeria and high-achieving Nigerians (in the public and private sectors) in the near future.
NIGERIA - THE COUNTRY
v  The Nigerian Green and White flag is a notable national symbol. The green color symbolises agriculture, seeing that the country is endowed with masses of arable land, while the white colour signifies unity and peace. Other national symbols include the Nigerian Coat of Arms, which depicts an eagle on a black shield, tri-sected by two wavy silver bands, and supported on either side by two chargers. The national motto underlies the coat-of -arms: "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress." Her national symbols convey great meaning to its people.
v  The Nigerian accent is currently ranked by CNN Global Experiences as the 5th sexiest accent in the world.
v  Nigeria is home to Nollywood, one of the world's biggest film industries.


NIGERIA - THE CULTURE, THE FOOD, THE WAY OF LIFE
v  Something great to like about Nigeria is our cultural diversity. A strong affinity exists, despite our differences. Learning about other ethnic cultures in my country really helped me personally relate to other cultures when abroad.
v  I think the food is tastier in Nigeria than that I have found in other countries.
v  Nigerians live a communal life style. The extended family is part of the immediate family in a Nigerian home.


NIGERIA - THE MUSIC, THE MOVIES, THE DANCE, THE ART
v  Nigeria has produced many world class musicians. A notable mention in this regard is Fela Anikulapo Kuti. A Broadway show titled ‘FELA!’ was produced in 2009 depicting the life and times of the Afrobeat musician.
v  Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, is reputedly the 3rd largest film industry after Hollywood and Bollywood, and has grown gradually into a $250 million industry in more than 10 years.
v  Nigerian indigenous musical instruments are unique, soulful and rhythmic. They comprise the popular Talking Drum, producing proverbial and storytelling sounds, the Shaker (shekere), the Udu drum, the Lute, the leg and arm Rattle, the Omele, the Ogene (Gong originating in Eastern Nigeria), the Ekwe drum and the Kakaki (A 4m metal trumpet popular in Northern Nigeria). Many of these instruments have been incorporated in South American music over the years

NIGERIA - GEOGRAPHY and NATURAL RESOURCES           
v  Nigeria     Nigeria is a nation blessed with rich human and natural resources. As the 8th largest exporter of Oil in the world, with the 10th largest proven reserves, our blessings cannot be overemphasised. No earthquakes, no tsunamis, no droughts, an evergreen land. The rest of the world should live here.
v  The beauty of the Nigerian state cannot but leave one in awe. Blessed with captivating physical features and abundant wild life. From the rolling hills to the vast plains in the North Central Nigeria and the forests in the South, the beautiful scenery of the country is more than breathtaking and with the wildlife spread all over the country; Nigeria is surely a beauty to behold and a tourist's delight all year round.
v  Nigeria is blessed with tremendous agricultural resources. Cotton in the North, Cocoa & Oil palm in the south amongst many others. The flag is green for a reason

NIGERIA - WEST AFRICA, AFRICA and THE WORLD
v  Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa. Approximately 1 out of every 2 West Africans, 1 out of every 4 Africans, and 1 out of every 5 persons of African origin is a Nigerian.
v  Nigeria is the largest contributor of troops to the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and by extension, is the largest force for peace and stability in West Africa.
v  A Nigerian will stand out anywhere you find him/her, from Libya to London, Tokyo to Timbuktu. Well known examples include Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets, USA), Olumide Oyedeji (Seattle Sonics), Tunde Baiyewu (Lighthouse Family), Sunday Adelaja (Ukraine), Chris Aire (US), etc.




NIGERIA - INDUSTRIOUS, INNOVATIVE and ENTERPRISING, with ACHIEVEMENTS        
v  Nigerians are intelligent, brilliant minds who have proven their mettle in various fields - Wole Soyinka was the first African to win the much coveted Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. Chinua Achebe’s classic novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ was ranked as number 14 in a list of top 100 books in the world by Newsdesk in 2009. Others include Cyprian Ekwensi, Mabel Segun, Chimamanda Adichie and Helon Habila whose literary works have won both international and local awards at various times.
v  We have budding fashion designers. Yes! It's a line every Bunmi, Amaka and Amina has decided to tow but to disregard the effort and originality of our Fashion Designers would be disrespectful. Tiffany Amber, Lanre Da Silva and Deola Sagoe are building world renowned brands, not to mention the legacy developed by the likes of Abba Folawiyo, Maureen Onigbanjo, Remi Lagos and Zizzi Cardow.
v  Nigerians have excelled in the fields of economics and finance, managing well established global bodies. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the current Minister of Finance, was until recently a Managing Director at The World Bank.  Obiageli Ezekwisili is currently the Vice President for Africa at The World Bank. Mr Adebayo Ogunlesi is a first class graduate of Oxford, and Managing Partner of Global infrastructure Partner (GIP), a concessionaire of London’s Gatwick International Airport.
v  We take technology and expand it in ways those who created it could not have imagined. For instance, take the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which allows you to send broadcast messages to all addresses on your contacts list; Nigerians recently found a unique way of advertising the different businesses they do. Someone started a message highlighting the fact that many people in Nigeria are entrepreneurs or provide a service and included his BB PIN in the message and sent to all his contacts with the charge that they state the service they provide, include their PIN and send on to all their contacts too. This seemingly small campaign has gone “viral” with whole lists of entrepreneurs and their BB PINs being passed from phone to phone. This is a clear sign of the ingenuity of Nigerians!

NIGERIA – GREAT PEOPLE
v  Nigeria is the 7th most populous nation in the world (over 160 million) and most populous in Africa - a gold mine of energetic, determined and talented people in each and every field. From Lagos to Aba to Kano, the Nigerian business spirit and desire to succeed is visible. It requires just proper harnessing of these human resources before Nigeria becomes the super power she was meant to be.
v  Nigerians are passionate, friendly, welcoming, hospitable, and well cultured people. The average Nigerian reflects a combination of vivacity, intelligence, energy, talent, and resolution.
v  We are a nation of people that can hardly hide their excitement at seeing family and friends. Some misconstrue this thinking we are loud but let's just say we are EXPRESSIVE! If you see us on the streets of New York making a big ruckus and hugging? No sweat. We are just happy to see each other.



NIGERIA – THE RESILIENT SPIRIT
v  The Giant of Africa: Not ignoring the current challenges, eventually, when we get our act right, we will reign supreme on the global scene. We have the potential and as is much touted by the Warri people - "Naija no dey carry last"
v  The 'survivor-mentality' hard-wired into the DNA of Nigeria's people. The fact that against all the odds (and there are many of them), Nigerians continue to live, hustle and seek to triumph. It is not by mistake that Nigeria is regarded as one of the "happiest" countries in the world, despite its challenging economic and social conditions.
v  We are hardy. The average Nigerian does business under circumstances that are unimaginable to people from other parts. In a place where there is no power, no credit, and scant regulation, people do business and do very well for themselves too. If you can make it in Nigeria, you can make it anywhere in the world.

NIGERIA – TOURISM and SPORTS
v  Nigeria is an amazing tourist haven and is home to the Obudu Cattle Ranch, located in Calabar. It is only 45 miles from the Cameroon border. The Obudu Plateau is spread over 40 sq. miles and is 5,200 feet above sea level. The Obudu resort features a Gorilla Camp where tourists may observe gorillas in their natural habitat.
v  Nigeria has two UNESCO world heritage sites, the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove and the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Adamawa. UNESCO world heritage sites are places designated as being of cultural significance.
v  Nigeria has produced great footballers like Teslim “Thunder” Balogun (the first Nigerian to play for an English Club – QPR), Segun Odegbami, Muda Lawal, Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini (who scored Nigeria’s first ever goal at the World Cup), Nwankwo Kanu, Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha, John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie, to mention but a few.
v  Nigeria has excelled in athletics over the years, still holding continental records in the 100m men and women, 4x100m men and women, 400m men and women, among others. Over 100 skilled Nigerian professional footballers played in First Division leagues in different countries all over Europe in the 2010/2011 season, 9 in England; 8 each in Finland, Norway; 10 in Ukraine and 7 in Sweden.


NIGERIA – UNITY in DIVERSITY
v  Nigerians, despite our diversity are a united people who always strive to help one another. With 774 local government areas, multi religious and ethnic affiliations, 36 States, and population of over 160 million, we still stand undeterred to move forward together.
v  Even outside the country, Nigerians remain united. This gives a quiet assurance somewhat that you can get on a plane and go to any country of the world and find a Nigerian there who will not only make you feel welcome but will go out of their way to be of really good help. I have experienced this several times on my travels and each time it amazes me how all I need to be is a Nigerian, not Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa and once I run into another Nigerian, I will immediately feel at home.
v  Our greatest strength lies in our diversity.


The ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ Campaign is in partnership with ‘The 419Positive Project’.

Blog awards still make my heart smile

Yes, they do. In 2 years of blogging, I've gotten my fair share of awards. Still, each time someone thinks me worthy, it's new all over again. Melanie of Feather Pens, Tartan Dreams said; "this is my first visit to Myne’s blog. And I was impressed. A beautiful lady with lots to say. I subscribed immediately."
Thank you Melanie for joining my site and for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope I have the chance to keep sharing my different facets with my readers.

Rules:
- Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
- Share 7 things about yourself.
- Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!

Rule number one is sorted, so let's move on to the next. OK, I forgot to say that the danger of awards that ask me to talk about myself is that I may run out of stuff to say, LOL..but not yet.

1. I am the second of three sisters and one brother.
2. Thanks to a road trip last summer, I've now visited about 10 states in the US.
3. There are 5 cities I consider part of who I am, Enugu, Asaba, Abuja, Edinburgh and Seattle
4. Love for my husband is still shacking (intoxicating) me after 2 and half years of marriage.
5. I am TTC and I'm wondering if I'm out of my mind.
6. At just 5'1, I'm shorter than most people.
7. I try to exercise self control, but my sweet tooth gets the better of me most times.

Now to the tagging...I've come across several blogs recently, especially with the platform building campaign. The following are just a few whose writing keeps me going back for more.



http://zouzousmuses.blogspot.com/ - Zouzou's Musings
http://duchessdiscussesdisability.blogspot.com/ - Duchess discusses Disability
http://publishness.blogspot.com/ - Angela Brown
http://christinerains-writer.blogspot.com/ - Chritine Rains - Writer
http://toinlicious.blogspot.com/ - Toinlicious Words
http://www.medeiasharif.com/ - Medeia Sharif
http://thewritersfunhouse.blogspot.com/ - Modulations
http://fashiondivvah.blogspot.com/ - Life is what you make of it
http://lola-x.blogspot.com/ - Lola-Land: The re-invention
http://www.thewritingreader.com/blog/ - The Writing Reader
http://isetfiretotherain.wordpress.com/ - Ramblings of a Diva
http://aneclecticmuse.blogspot.com/ - An Eclectic Muse
http://apysworld.blogspot.com/ - Priscy's World
http://www.alicross.com/ - Ali Cross
http://lucianochinwe.blogspot.com/ - Luciano's World

Stand a chance to win A Heart to Mend from RWOWA

Romance Writers of West Africa (RWOWA) is a group dedicated to the growth of African romantic fiction worldwide and I am one of the founding members, YAY! We have set up our website, and will be rewarding our subscribers each month with a book from the published members. For October, the group will be giving away a free copy of my bestselling debut novel, “A Heart to Mend.*

How to enter:
- Subscribe to RWOWA. The email form is on the right lower corner of the website.**

- Follow @RWOWA on twitter

- Like the RWOWA page on Facebook.


One lucky winner will be selected at the end of September. The winner will be announced on 1 October 2011. Sorry I'm bringing this news so late, but that means you have to go, go, go ----

*E-book copy

**This giveaway is International. Contestants must complete a minimum of 2 of the above criteria to be eligible. Email subscription via the RWOWA website is mandatory. Contestants can choose between following on twitter or facebook and are encouraged to do both. Please mention @rwowa on twitter when you follow, or leave a message on our Facebook wall when you join so your entry can be confirmed.

PS, Hope your week is going well so far?

How to Express Love to your Wife


Sometime ago on Facebook, someone shared on how express love to your husband. This was shared in the Just Us Girls group by a man so I understand he's talking to his audience. So, I'm closing my eyes to the sexism in the list, that's a post for another day. But I feel there's a lacuna in that hardly any relationship expert advises the men, so this is my own version of how to express love to your wife. Enjoy the rest of the list after the break. More love to us all...
1. Say “I love you” often to him her.
2. Tell him her often that you are happy to marry him her.
3. Cook his her food promptly.
4. Listen to him her when he she talks.
5. Pray Talk with him her often.
6. Sit on his her lap when you are alone, and also in public.
7. Tell him her he she is handsome, brilliant and wealthy everything to you.
8. Occasionally, take his her food to him her in the bedroom before he she gets up especially on weekends.
9. Sit down with him her as he she watches football her favorite show or any other programme on TV.
10. Learn some things about his her job and discuss these with him her.

11. Scrub his her back for him her in the bathroom as you take your bath together.
12. Write a love letter and post it to him her in the office.
13. Call him her on phone just to say, “I love you”.
14. Give him her gifts often.
15. Tell him her that the best thing that ever happened to you after your salvation is him her.
16. Ask for his her opinion often and follow it. This will boost his her ego.
17. Sit down with him her in the living room and place your head on his her lap when alone, and also when people are there.
18. If your children do anything good, tell them they took after their father mother.
19. Take the first move in bed. Tell him her gently “I want your touch, my love,” Don’t be ashamed demanding. He She is your husband wife, not a slave.
20. Write love poems for him her and read it to him her as he she is relaxing
21. Welcome him home with a hug.
22. Ask for forgiveness when you offend him.
23. Never disagree with him publicly.
24. Laugh to his jokes even though you have heard them so many times. It shows him you love him.
25. Read the Bible to his hearing.
26. Never disagree with him when he disciplines the children.
27. Always allow him to teach you and ask questions.
28. Hang his picture in your office and in the room.
29. When he is not driving and you are travelling together, place your head on his chest or lap and sleep off.
30. Love his mother and other relations.
31. Never raise your voice when talking to him.
32. Whisper in his ears when he is in the crowd and tell him “I love you”, “you are handsome”, “you look like a king”.
42. Ask him what do you want me to do better in my cooking?
43. Write and paste a romantic message for him in the bedroom.
44. Help him to massage his body; spend time on the back, thigh, tummy, chest, face, buttocks, leg, etc.
45. Send gifts to his mother often
46. Give him the needed attention
47. Prepare his favourite meal for him
48. Dress well and walk smartly
49. Help him as he dresses out for an outing
50. Appreciate him at the end of the month in company of the children for taking care of you throughout the month.

Read More top posts;

How to have lasting online romance - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/11/how-to-have-lasting-online-romance.html

Safety tips for online dating - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/08/safety-tips-online-dating-social-networking.html

Arranged Marriage versus personal choice - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/11/arranged-marriage-versus-personal-choice.html

Can Online dating become lasting love? - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2010/07/can-online-love-become-lasting-love.html

How to Express love to your wife - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2011/09/how-to-express-love-to-your-wife.html

9 Ways to know when you're in Love - http://www.romancemeetslife.com/2012/11/9-ways-to-know-when-youre-in-love.html

How to Find out Reason for relationship breakup - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2013/03/wanting-to-know-reason-for-break-up.html

Steps to a successful relationship - http://www.romancemeetslife.com/2010/10/steps-to-successful-relationship.html

How to deal with unrequited love or the friend zone - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/12/unrequited-love-lets-call-it-friend-zone.html

Campaign Challenge II : Imago

One hand holding his nose, Paul fought to keep his balance as he took wide steps, avoiding the lacuna between the slabs he was walking on. Beside him rose a concrete wall, topped by nails jutting into the night sky. He should be home, but the restaurant where he washed dishes had closed late, and one of the chefs had suggested this strange shortcut to the bus stop.
Tiredness washed over him but he tried not to oscitate, keeping in mind the miasma from the gutter beneath. His stomach growled as Paul recalled the kitchen during dinner hour. A deeper growl echoed some feet away in synchronicity and Paul peered into the darkness, his heart beginning to race.
Two glowing eyes emerged from the shadows followed by the rest of a massive dog. A security light suddenly came on, glinting off the shiny coat of the dog as it began to bark. Snapped into action, Paul took a step backward, and then another. The dog stood before a gatehouse, and in the mirror of the glass doors, appeared as two.
“Get him!” Someone shouted.
The dog and its image leaped forward as one, saliva dribbling down their jowls.
Paul ran.
___________



The Challenge from the PBC was:
Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
include the word "imago" in the title
include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!
I had to look up most of the words before I started. Oscitate means yawn, synchronicity is synonymous with unrelated coincidences, lacuna is a gap, and miasma is bad air. I used all four words, there is a mirror in the post, and this is exactly 200 words. Hope you like my effort. For those not in the campaign, feel free to write yours and link to this.

Picture Weekend - Revenge, my tiny Afro

I learned a new phrase last night, double infinity.

It's from the new ABC show, Revenge, which I watched on the Friday showing. We missed the premiere on Wednesday cos we went out but now the show has definitely found its place on my must-watch list. Growing up, I struggled with the revenge side of my scorpio, and it's a theme that still holds a fascination for me (see A Heart to Mend). Anyway, I went on wiki and found that the TV show is an adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alex Dumas, and I'm a huge fan of that book. There's been a lot of changes obviously, but I'm already liking that the two main characters are strong females, terrifically acted by Emily VanCamp, and Madeleine Stowe, and I look forward to how the writers will pull it off.

On to my hair, I cut my it in late March and the second picture was taken in the second week of April. The first was taken just this Wednesday, and if I do say so myself, I think the hair is growing. As you can see, the front grows faster than the back, giving me a punk look, lol...





Funny thing is, I've not really done much with it. I've put it in corn-rows a couple of times, once in single braids, and then when I was planning to go put extensions to cover/protect it (weaves or braids), I had the fall. I'm hoping to fix it up soon though. Hopefully it will get some rest from the frequent combing, I think it's beginning to shed more than usual and winter is on the way. :(

Have a great weekend all, mwah!

Abia gang rape suspect identified – Nigerian Minister

This is the best news I've read on this matter since it broke.
"The minister said, “More than 70 per cent of the information we have on the rape will not be said here for obvious security reasons. But I can tell you we have information on it.
“The girl is not a student of Abia State University. She was raped in an off-campus residential area of students.
“One of them (suspects) has been identified conclusively.”
Although the faces of the rapists are not seen in the video, the minister said the National Human Rights Commission was on top of the situation.
He said, “Some legal experts have told us that it may be difficult to convict the rapists because the video does not reveal the face of the victims.
“The National Human Rights Commission is working with the Ministry of Youth Development. The commission, which is headed by a competent lawyer, is on top of this case.
“This is law, if we can not press for rape, there are other charges that we can press. I can assure you that justice will be done.”"
Read the full report: The Punch:: Gang rape suspect identified – Minister



It appears the Punch Newspapers have taken up the story and you can get a lot of information on their website.
House of Reps ask IG to find perpetrators 
Women groups are mobilising for legal battle

There are some less reliable reports out there, like 24/7 that lists names as "perpetrators" when it should rightly be suspects. Their names and FB pages were then circulated on twitter to serious backlash. In actual fact, those are persons of interest, some of who may have come forward, willing to help police investigations. If you have passed on the wrong initial report, please do post a retraction.

On a final note, I know we're all charged up about this case, I am too. But when we want to avoid flash in the pan reactions that may boomerang, we should allow due process to take its course. By so doing, our police, civil society and judicial system can learn, and build their muscles, and proper structures can then be embedded for the long run.

TGIF

Speak up and stop the predators

UPDATE: Like Ginger pointed out in the comments, the onus should not just be on the girl and I totally agree. It is on us all. Some people are putting their money where their mouth is. #eienigeria


I read Seun Odukoya's blog and discovered that Abike Dabiri is calling on the rape victim in this video to step forward. Seun says it's not that easy to speak up, and I agree.
In my final year in University, I was harassed for sexual favors by one of my lecturers. It was not in exchange for grades and he did not threaten to fail me. Maybe he did hope to scare me, after all I was young and under his power. He was in his forties, and one of the top lecturers in the department. Of course I had heard stories about his womanizing ways, but when he showed an interest in me, I thought it was only because I was billed to be the best of my class.  

I frequently went to his office for one thing or the other, sometimes with classmates, and other times alone. That day, he called me specifically and I followed him. I left the door open but after we spoke for a while, he went and closed it. He sat beside me and told me how my intelligence turned him on and asked whether I was interested in a relationship. Confused and embarrassed, I said I wasn’t and got up to leave. He asked me to pass him some files on the floor and when I bent over, he touched my backside. Then, I wished the floor should open up and swallow me.
While inside I was so humiliated and scared, I tried to show a bold face. I glared at him and walked out of the room. For a while I avoided him, and I did not tell anyone what had happened. But I couldn’t continue missing his classes, and when I returned, he pretended that nothing had happened, smiling and chatting with me. I followed his lead, and put it behind me. I was a big girl, wasn’t I?
Although I later started talking about it when the issue of sexual harassment in school came up, I never made a big deal of it back at the University. I went to his house when his wife had a baby, and attended his mother’s funeral. I didn’t want anyone to suspect, I didn’t want to be one of the statistics. I could almost hear people asking, what were you wearing that day? Why were you alone with a male lecturer in a closed office? I didn’t want any part of that. I was the perfect victim.
Why do I say that? I’ve since come to realize that the predator’s greatest protection is the victim’s silence. Sometimes I wonder how many other girls that lecturer lured because I remained silent.
But why do we remain silent? It goes back to those questions people will ask. And it is not just people, it is authority figures, vice chancellors, courts, leaders. They will ask, "Why is she making noise, after all, he didn't do much. She should just move on. She must have done something to deserve it. We know this man, he is too respectable to do that. He is a married man with a family, why does she want to wreck his home? She’s just a bitter girl, out to destroy an illustrious career." And on and on…
Back to the video making the rounds. I’m sure the young men that gang-raped the victim and made the video were counting on society’s self righteous judgment against her as we’re seeing on blogs and social media. They must be counting on the victim being shamed into silence and preferring to move on with her life. That is their protection. 
And that is why I join in calling for the girl to report to either the police or preferably a charity that can represent her. She is the only one that can quickly identify those men. Keeping silent will not heal her trauma, in fact most therapy require you to talk about your abuse. Also, imagine if these beast are left to roam, who knows how many more lives they will destroy? They need to be identified, and their power demystified.
In a chat on FB, someone in Abia State where this happened says the news is already dying down, the view is that we bloggers are just making noise. A friend who works with Radio Nigeria says the only clear way forward for their investigative reporter is to speak with the girl, as other avenues may be to resource intensive. We can already see the Governor and School authorities ready to close the case.
So this is a call to the girl and those abused in the past or in the future. Please speak up and do not protect the predators. Stand forward and stop the cycle. HUGS.

Blogger Ball #7

This is an intro for those coming from the Blogger's Ball 7. You're welcome to my blog.

Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!

Myne Whitman is my pen name. I live in Seattle with my husband from where I write and blog full time. I am also the publisher and managing editor for a critique and social networking website for aspiring Nigerian writers at Naijastories.com.

My two books, A Heart to Mend and A Love Rekindled are self-published, and I'm working on my third. The first, AHTM, recently got to no 1 on the Amazon UK Kindle bestsellers list for Inspirational Romance and also Romantic Suspense. The links to read the reviews are to the left, and below that are links to my blog topics.

Thanks for coming over, and I hope you'll join my site. See you over at yours soon.

Picture weekend - Mountain Climbing

Hi people, hope your weekend has started well? Mine will be fairly laid back, we're going to see Contagion later today, and I'll probably try to do some writing. On the latter, my work in progress (A Fiery Love) has some mountain climbing scenes in it and I've been doing some research online to get the setting in order. But I also have to describe how the characters feel, you know, how they're out of breath, the feeling of satisfaction when they get to the top, that sort of thing.

So, a couple of weeks ago after my cast was removed, we decided to do something we've been putting off because of my broken arm, tackle one of the lower peaks of a mountain near by. A friend joined us and we set out. The first picture is of a dry waterfall. We went at the wrong time, I guess. The grove was all set up, but no water. Boo! like one small girl we came across with her family said.


I was trying to channel a Cougar, which the mountain was named after, you know, blend into the background :)

The trek was excruciating at points, we took some detours to see the sights, like this small lake in the clay pits. When we finally got to the top, the view made it absolutely worth it.

The view from the top of Lake Sammamish.
Well, Dunni and Babs will be getting some real to life writing of their Erin Ijesha treks through my experience of Cougar Mountain, lol...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and see you Monday with an excerpt. Mwah!

Friendship - Can we not agree to disagree?


A topic has been flying around blogsville for the past couple of days and  with posts, counter-posts and comments, the battle lines were drawn. I am a strong proponent for social rights and while in Edinburgh, I worked to promote gay health and rights, but that doesn't mean I'm blind to the feelings of those who feel uncomfortable with homosexuality. I don't think it's right to demonize them as stupid, sad, ignorant, close-minded, judgmental, archaic, etc; which was what it seemed most of the counter-posts were about, or they were providing platforms for others to throw the insults.

See, I can be very sociable most times but I find it difficult to make friends. This is because I can hold different opinions from most people on various topics. Also, I find cliques very confining because it seems that once a group has agreed on one thing, the members are expected to agree on everything. And this is so difficult for me because my mind sometimes works in seemingly illogical and sometimes contradictory ways. So, when I see people I think understand difference, it gladdens my heart, be it in real life or online.


This blog, and blogging as a whole, has introduced me to many people some of whom I would count as friends. I wrote somewhere that I started this blog with my book excerpts because it takes time for me to become personal with people. And over time too, I have become more open and free to speak my mind, on this blog and on others. So an email I received yesterday hit me with the power of a blow.

On said topic, my comments were subtle for both sides since I've learned it's usually unproductive trying to talk to people when they're ranting. However, after the first couple of rebuttals, I couldn't help feeling that the so-called "anti-gay" were the under-dogs and I don't react well to bullying. On one blog I let down my guard, but turns out I yawaed badly, and I'm now left feeling like a leper. My bad.

On gay rights, as on such sensitive issues that include religion, I prefer not to debate, but provide information in a respectful, non-combative manner, and give people time and space to come to their own realizations. Even at that, I have to  accept that some people may never change their mind. After all, I did not jump out of the womb all open-minded and informed, we can't all be the same, and I am not perfect.

In conclusion, can we no more agree to disagree? And still remain friends?

PS: I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by my comments on the issue.

PPS: Comments on this post are closed.

Are there husbands and wives in Nigeria?

As some of you may have guessed from my last excerpt, I'm exploring the issue of people going back to their home countries to look for a wife or a husband. @tobdon asked on Twitter, "huh? are husbands in Nigeria? RT @Myne_Whitman: WIP - Coming Back to Nigeria for a Husband?" He also asked if there were wives too. Good questions, lol...


Now I know that older people do it more. A girl friend won the green card and most people advised her to find a boyfriend and quickly make him a fiance, or marry the next available guy before leaving for America. Some guys I know in the US and UK have had friends and family recommend potential wives for them from back in Nigeria. These guys have not been to Nigeria in years, and funny enough, the plan is to carry out a long distance courtship and then ship the wife over after maybe one trip for the wedding. Hmm...I've seen it work o, but most times, the result is not so good.

So it baffles me that young people when they're ready to get married also start thinking of travelling back home to find a partner. I don't understand why they can't just look around them and consider the people currently around them wherever they are. I know from figures there's obviously a wider pool of people like you where you come from, but surely one doesn't need an ocean to find a drop of water. There's nothing written that says your countrymen or women (from source) are better marriage material, or is there?

My dear readers, please help me out. What has been your experience of this. Do you know anyone it has happened to, and how did it work out? Have you been involved? Do you plan to do it yourself? What do you think of the whole thing? Let's talk...


9/11 and Me - Inspired by StoryCorps Youtube Videos

Whenever this date rolls around, most people ask, where were you?

On September 11, 2001, I had just gotten my first graduate job as a teacher in a private school in Abuja. I had also just moved into my first apartment and it was sparsely furnished, so no television. I had a music system but I didn't often listen to the radio except mostly on the weekends. That particular evening, I was writing lesson notes and listening to Celine Dion. As usual the next day, I was at work very early and it was the headmaster that called me into his office to tell me what happened, I was in deep shock. We discussed with the other teachers as they came in and announced it to the children during assembly. Most of them were too young to understand but I couldn't help thinking more and more about it.

It was at an internet cafe after school and on CNN at my aunt's place the next day that I saw the traumatic images, people jumping out windows of their skyscraper offices, the twin towers collapsing, and those on ground zero who saw it happening before their eyes. I watched all these with tears, sobs, and my mouth often open in shock and grief. On Youtube last night, I cried again listening to some StoryCorps videos. The truth is that no matter how much we as all humanity were affected, there were those for whom it was more personal, those who lost family. The woman in the story below received a call from someone who was in the building as it was crashing down.



 

Someone said memorials for 9/11 are just an opportunity for Americans to bash a religion or a country. I do not agree. I believe it is a time to reflect, on pain, on loss, but mostly on life, love and forgiveness. I remind myself to live life to the full, and to live peace with all people I know. In the video below, a man lost two sons, a firefighter and a policeman who went to join the rescue. He says what gives him peace is that he spoke to both sons hours to their death, and they ended their calls with "I love you." His video also touched me deeply, and I want to say the same to you all reading. I LOVE YOU.


Nowadays, when I think of 9/11, I think of other Septembers. Of 9/11/06, the date of my first flight out of Nigeria for my Masters Degree in Edinburgh. After everything that has happened in the last 5 years, I see that move as very symbolic. Atala and I basically declared our love for each other on 9/11/08 and saw each other for the first time later the same month. And as I write this, he is beside me still. The man in the video below lost the love of his life.

 


So this post is dedicated to my husband. I love him just as much as I did when I wrote the poem "Ever Yours" three years ago today, and more if possible. HE IS THE ONE.

Everything You Need To Know About Writing and Publishing


I'll be co-hosting a Verastic.com radio show with Vera and Chika Unigwe on writing and publishing. I've had a couple of other shows with Vera, one on "Why should I get married, and the other on To hyphenate married names or not. This time, we'll be chatting about the following topics;

- How to get an agent
- How to publish independently
- How to market published books
- How to get a publisher without an agent
- How to keep the writing momentum going
- How to be a disciplined writer
- How to be a writer.

So, for those of you who are interested, let's talk. Chika Unigwe (author of On Black Sisters Street) has been traditionally published and will be sharing more on that. I will be sharing about my experiences of independent publishing (Authorhouse and Createspace) and what keeps me going.

You can leave any questions or suggestion for discussion here in the comments. You can also e-mail your questions/comments to me or to radio@verastic.com or text 1.443.934.9039 * The show is going to be Live on BlogTalk Radio at 8amPST, 11amEST, 4pmGMT and 4pm Nigerian time. Call 1.646.929.1905 during the LIVE show to join the conversation. Here’s the direct link to the show, and you can share it with as many people as possible; http://bit.ly/qUODgt 

You can also participate in the live chat room if you register with Blogtalk Radio. I'll also be running a tweet stream, so follow me @Myne_Whitman

Do enjoy your weekend, and hope some of you can tune in. Mwah!

Did you miss me? First Campaigner Challenge


The door swung open, banging against the wall behind it, and she jumped back in fright.
“I’m so sorry…” the masculine voice trailed off and Dunni watched recognition light up his eyes. The familiar smile began from the corner of his lips till they were stretched wide across the pearl white teeth that had refused to leave her memory.
“You!” she squeaked.
“Hello, Dunni,” he said, walking further into the room after jamming the door shut. “I’m sorry about the door but it appeared to be wedged, hope you weren’t too alarmed.”
Dunni didn’t know what to think. Why was he here? Had he been following her? But no one else knew she was here. And this was the worst possible time. She had to get him out of here. He shouldn’t be here or he would ruin her plans. But how could she get him out? Why was he standing there, staring at her?
“You look amazing!” He moved closer to her. “Very different from…”
“What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“Don’t you just want to know?” he mocked. “I’ve missed you, you know. How long has it been now? Did you miss me? Just a little?”

____________

This is for the platform building first campaigner challenge. The rules were as follows
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem.
Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count. If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)
For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!
I couldn't end with "the door swung shut" but this is 200 words exactly! LOL... Thanks for reading, and please tell me what you think.

The Help may be historically inaccurate

Recently, the Association of Black Woman Historians issued a public statement to the fans of the book, The Help, and the movie based on it. They basically said that;
The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers.
While I didn't read the book, I saw the movie a few weeks ago and came away very much interested in the subject and having picked some historical context from it. But bearing in mind that it was fiction, I wanted to continue the discussion with real people and I've also read a lot of articles which was how I came to hear of the ABWH's statement.


During the 1960s, the era covered in The Help, legal segregation and economic inequalities limited black women's employment opportunities. Up to 90 per cent of working black women in the South labored as domestic servants in white homes. The Help’s representation of these women is a disappointing resurrection of Mammy—a mythical stereotype of black women who were compelled, either by slavery or segregation, to serve white families. Portrayed as asexual, loyal, and contented caretakers of whites, the caricature of Mammy allowed mainstream America to ignore the systemic racism that bound black women to back-breaking, low paying jobs where employers routinely exploited them.
One of the most powerful scenes in the movie for me was of one morning in the black community when they were on their way to work, almost all the women wore the uniform of maids, and the man seemed to be mainly casual laborers. One of the main black characters had lost her job because of a racist white boss, and had to pull her daughter out of school to work and make money. In the scene, she was putting her 13/14 years old daughter through the do's and don'ts of servitude, it was heart-breaking. On another note, the ABWH point out that;
Portraying the most dangerous racists in 1960s Mississippi as a group of attractive, well dressed, society women, while ignoring the reign of terror perpetuated by the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council, limits racial injustice to individual acts of meanness.
In a discussion with Atala (I went to see the movie with a meetup group so he missed it), he remarked on this particular point and how easy it was for people to then say, "I'm not like that individual", thus discounting the ability of such a work to provoke deep soul searching and public discourse. The ABWH concludes;
In the end, The Help is not a story about the millions of hardworking and dignified black women who labored in white homes to support their families and communities. Rather, it is the coming-of-age story of a white protagonist, who uses myths about the lives of black women to make sense of her own. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment.
While I accept The Help as fiction, there is still that power that writers have to influence their society, and maybe Kathryn Stockett should have been more cultural sensitive. That said, one big lesson I took from the movie was that more people should tell their stories. Nobody can write your history the way you can, and the author of The help has done her bit, the rest is left for us.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? What did you think?

PS, maybe one day I'll write about how the movie reminded me so much of the house-help culture in Nigeria.

My Hand is free + Using the new blogger

Hi everyone, hope your weekend is going well?


Yay, I took out my cast and now I have both hands to play with again. What a relief!

Having that cast was bearable but there were days I got so frustrated with it, especially because I couldn't get it wet and had to wrap it in plastic each time I had a shower. Then a friend pointed out that my hand was getting smaller, and it was! I've lost some muscle definition in that hand and much of the strength. But no fear, the Occupational Therapy people have given me a series of physio exercises to bring the hand back to speed. I laughed yesterday doing some of them, it's amazing how we take so many things for granted until you can't do them again. Like squeezing your hand or touching your thumb to the tips of your other fingers. Well, small small...

On other news, have you started using the new blogger interface? I logged in a couple of days ago and old Blogger said I should try it out. I was like, meh, I'm used to this one, but Atala wanted to see what it looked like so I clicked over. TBH, I haven't gone back to old blogger since. The look and feel is so clean and more integrated, and I like it, lol. Maybe I'll do a proper post about it soon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend people. For those in America, have a great Labor day.

Myne Whitman Presents: The Vow by Lowladee



Lowla Dee is a Nigerian born in the heart of Kano. With a B.Sc in Mass Communication, she's a writer/blogger and philanthrophist who believes in making the world a better place is by impacting one person at a time. You can contact her at ladydeedollie@yahoo.com

Her website, LOWLADEE.com is a fast growing lifestyle website set up as a channel for others to be inspired. She says, "our readers mean a lot to us and we strive to affect their lives in divine ways." This description comes with a warning, "You are about entering into a world where fiction feels so real. Once you start, you won’t stop." After reading the story below, I hope you agree with them. TGIF. This is a long story, but I promise you'll love it. Enjoy...





“I, Sarah Adams take Lawson Kuti as my lawful wedded husband, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, till death do us part” she smiled at him through her veil.

“You may now kiss your bride Mr. Lawson” The Pastor beckoned.

Lawson’s heart raced as he gently unveiled his bride’s face. She looked so beautiful. He gently bent over and placed a soft kiss on her lip. Sarah in turn embraced him tightly with tears of joy streaming down her face.

“Never leave me Sarah” He whispered in her ear.

“I will never leave you” she whispered and they slowly released themselves from the embrace.

“I present to you the latest couple!” The Pastor exclaimed excitedly

The church cheered and Sarah cried more in her husband’s arms

5 years Later

Sarah silently tip toed behind her husband. He was in his study, engrossed in reading. She smiled to herself and gently covered his eyes with both hands.


“It’s just you and I in this house Sara, plus, I smelled you the moment you walked in” He dropped

Sara released her hold, sighed and sat on the study table, “Why do you figure me out so easily? I can’t even surprise you! That sucks” she curled her arms around his neck

“You are my wife, nothing you do is supposed to surprise me” He playfully pecked her nose.

“But you’ve been in the study all day and I’m bored!” She rolled her eyes

“So what kind of fun do you suggest we have then?” He swooped her off the table in his arms

“No! no that kind of fun!” She hit him playfully till he put her down

“Ok”, He folded his arms on his chest, looking into her eyes, “So what do you want us to do?”

“Not us. Actually, all I want is to play with your play station and you’ve hidden it again! Just give it and you can continue your reading. pleaaaseee” She blinked her eyes playfully

“No way”, He went back toward his study chair and sat, “Not my play station”

“Why! You never let me touch it…like its your baby” She sulked

“Well”, he rolled his eyes, “Not like you’ve given me a baby yet”

Sara paused for a moment. Did he just say that to her? The words struck her deep down

“You shouldn’t have said that Lawson…” She managed to say, her countenance changing.

“But it’s true…I’m only saying the truth Sara” He turned to face her, still sitting on the chair.

“The truth? You think I don’t want us to have kids?”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that…” He stood to face her now.

“Then what are you saying Lawson? Tell me, what is the truth?”

“Let’s not do this today…please. You can have the play station and play all you want. It’s in my footwear locker and the key is in my Bible”

“You always do this…hurting me with your words” Her voice began to shake

“Don’t start Sara please”

“Tell me why you said those words to me! I want to know!”

“Because I’m tired! I want to be a father! I want to have my own kids Sara…”

” and you think I don’t?!” Sara flared, trying not to let the tears pour

“Then why can’t you get pregnant Sara? This is the fifth year we are trying.” He clenched his teeth and walked out of the study.

Sara was in shock. She sat on the chair for some seconds, stood up again and sat on the chair again…this time she held on to her blouse and burst into tears.


2weeks after

“Lawson, wake up please” Sara tapped him

Lawson gently opened his eyes and looked at the alarm clock by his bedside, “It’s 2:00am Sara…”

“It’s urgent”

“I’m listening” He said drowsily

“Mother says we should come for tests. She says she’s spoken to her doctor and he said we should come.”

“What?” Lawson opened his eyes now, “Your mother is the UK for Christs sakes”

“Let’s just do it. We can go for the weekend, lets just give it a shot, please.”

“No. That would be rather expensive and…”

“It’s my birthday today and the only thing I want from you is this trip”

Lawson fell quiet now. For the past two years now, his wife’s birthday skips his mind…totally.

“I’m…I’m sorry Sara…It skipped my mind…”

“It always does” She lay down back on the bed, backing him.

Lawson wrapped his arms around her waist, “I said I’m sorry…”

No response.

Lawson sighed, “Fine, we go this weekend”

“Really?” She turned sharply, excited

“If it will make you happy today”

“Thank you baby” She hugged him.

A week after

Sara jerked at the vibration of the phone in her pocket.

“Hi mom!” she pressed the phone to her ear with her shoulders, wiping the washed dishes with her hands.

“Honey…”

“What is it mom?” she pressed it harder

“The result…the result of the tests…” her mother cried

Sarah gently dropped the plate and the wiper, heart racing…”Just say it mom…”

That night

“I can never have children Lawson…” Sara cried

Lawson felt his world crash right in front of him, “W…what?”

“Mama called today…she’s gotten the tests results”

“Jesus Christ” Lawson stood, placing his palm on his head, “b…but you told me you were ok before we got married, you told me the doctor said your abortion didn’t damage your womb”

“Don’t bring my past into this!” Sara flared

Lawson laughed and got serious almost immediately, “You are crazy. I married a crazy woman!”

Sara looked at him in shock, like he’d lost his mind.

“The results say you can never have children and we both know that this has to do with the abortion you had before we met!”, he flared, “are you happy?…you know we’re screwed right? No kids? what re we going to tell the world?”

“Lawson we can adopt…” Sara cried

“Adopt? Wow!”, he laughed again, “I married a funny woman too!” He got serious again, “Its still not our baby! The damn baby is not my flesh and blood! You are full of deceit Sara” He looked into her eyes. Sara could see him fighting his tears.

“Lawson stop…you are hurting me…” Sara fell on her knees crying

“You want to know what I’m thinking?” Lawson looked at her with disgust, “I’m thinking how on earth I’m going to stand seeing your deceitful face for the rest of my life”

Sara cried harder, “Don’ t give up Lawson…So far I have a womb…I can still carry our baby…”

“I am not giving up on having my baby, I’m giving up on you” Lawson turned around to leave

“Lawson!” She held his feet, “I’m hurting too…”

He only dragged his feet from her hold and drove out of the house. She wept.

A month Later

“Mother, he’s not even talking to me. All of a sudden we are both strangers…He doesn’t eat my food, comes home late…he hates me so much and its killing me. I’m confused…to think that it’s me truly hurting…”

“For how long will you hide this truth from him. You’ve got to let him know…you can’t carry his…”

There was the sound of a car horn

“Mom I’ve got to go…he’s back”

“Baby, you’ve got to let him know. It can work when you two are one in mind”

“Bye mom” she ended the call.

Lawson came into the house, about to walk past her.

“Lawson” She held him

“I’m tired” He didn’t want to look at her face

“I know…can we talk for some minutes?” She tried to help him remove his suit

“Look what is it?” He jerked from her

“Do you hate me this much? you can’t even look me in the eye? you can’t even stand my sight? Lawson…it’s me Sara…your best friend…” Her eyes grew moist

“I’m in no mood for this” He turned around to walk away

“Don’t you dare leave when I’m talking to you!” She dragged him by the suit. Just then, some papers fell to the floor. Sara quickly bent to pick them up…her hands shook and her body became numb all over.

“D…divorce papers? Lawson?” She searched his eyes

“Answer me goddammit!” She held him by the collar of his shirt, crying

“They are for you to sign. I want out” Lawson dropped

“Y…you what?” she slowly freed him from her hold

“It’s not going to work Sara, can’t you see?”

“Lawson I can’t believe you would think of a divorce and even go this far…why are you so wicked!” she cried, angry

“No! Why are you so wicked!” He retorted, flaring

“Think about me for once. I am a man for Christs sakes. My children are my pride! and you are about to deny me that for the rest of my life because of your stupid mistake!”

“What about me! have you stopped for once to think about what I’m going through”

“Its your cross, carry it” Lawson fixed his angry eyes on his wife

“No, its now our cross and I am not signing those divorce papers! We vowed never to leave each other!”

“Isn’t it better Sara, that you save yourself more hurt and sign these papers than to see another woman move into this house before your very eyes?” he said with a tone of sarcasm

Sara’s heart thumped, “What?”

“You heard me…another woman who can help raise a family, so save yourself the stress and sign the damn papers. I need it tomorrow” He turned around to leave again

“She still can’t carry your baby” Sara dropped

“Not all women had abortions. Not every woman was like you.” He scorned

“You are the one who can’t give me a child!” Sara let out, crying.

Lawson stopped now, turned around and walked towards her, “Whatever your plan is won’t work”

“I told you I could never have a child because its you who can’t make me pregnant”

“Shut up! shut up Sara! what the hell are you saying!” He shook her shoulders violently

“You are infertile Lawson…the doctor says you have primary infertility…” Sara burst into tears

Lawson gasped, loosing his balance.

“Mother called me to give me the news. I was shattered, I felt like my world was over but more importantly I thought of you. I thought of what the news could do to you, I thought of the best way to tell you… never for once did i think of leaving you. I bore your insults, your scorn, because of my past. It was so easy to judge me and think of yourself. I am the one who is hurting, I am the one who should bring some miserable divorce papers…but I thought of you…I thought of hope, faith and a miracle…I thought of my vow to you on that altar. In sickness and in health remember?”, she smiled through her tears, “all of a sudden you are as weak as a baby…looking in your eyes, I can see you suddenly have lost all your guards, You are so wicked”

“Sara…” Lawson fell on his knees, torn.

“No!” She quickly fell on her knees too, “No Lawson…” She couldn’t bear to see him cry

“I’m…I’m infertile”, he cried, “What is left of me?” he searched his wife’s eyes

“Lawson please…” she held his face, “I understand…it has been so hard for me…I have put myself in your shoes since the first day…”

“You don’t deserve this…you deserve better…I can’t believe I scorned you all along…please let me leave you”

“No” she shook her head, “You are my husband. I won’t leave you. I won’t let you leave me…I believe in miracles”

“I’m doomed…Sara I’m doomed…”He allowed his wife take him in her arms and on her shoulder he wept like a child.

In the Morning

Sara gently opened her eyes, looking beside her bed…it was empty. She quickly sat up on seeing a note gently placed on the bed. Hands shaking, she opened the letter to read.

Sara,


I cannot bear the shame. I have treated you so unfairly, yet you love me still, you are with me even in this condition of mine. To think that you knew all along and you never for once gave me a clue that it is my fault we are in this mess, makes me so unworthy of you. I love you enough to let you build another life with a man who can make you happier. I’m torn Sara and all I ask is your forgiveness. I have always loved you and if you truly love me then please start your life over again…without me…I am truly sorry for disappointing you.


Lawson.

Sara couldn’t control the tears. She couldn’t think straight anymore. She picked her cell phone, shaking…

“Hi Mr. Lawson’s office please”

“HI Lola…” she cried, “have you seen my husband today?”

“No…no ma’am, we’ve been expecting him at work. He has a presentation is fifteen minutes”

“Oh God…God…” Sara dipped her hand in her full hair

“Everything ok ma’am?”

“Thank you” she ended the call.

She quickly got down from the bed and in her pajamas she ran into her car. She dialed his number repeatedly as she drove…no answer.

At 2:00pm

She sped into Fred’s compound, a close friend to her husband.

“Fred!” she banged the door hastily till the door flung open

“My God Sara what’s wrong?” Fred held her

“It’s…its Lawson…have you seen him? is he here?”

“No…Haven’t heard from him in a week”

“Oh God” she held her hair

“What’s wrong?”

But she was already walking away into her car.

“Sara!” He called after her.

She zoomed away.

4:30pm

“Mom, Dad, I can’t find Lawson…I can’t find your son…” she cried as she paced in front of the two who looked lost

“You have to calm down and tell us what happened” Lawson’s mother put her arms around Sara.

Sara burst into tears, “Please Dad could you try his number, maybe he’d pick your call?”

“Have you been to his office?” He picked his cellphone and dialed his son’s number

“I have been everywhere I know him to be likely available”

“It’s ok…calm down please” Lawson’s mother pet her

“He’s not picking. What exactly went wrong between you two?” Lawson’s father searched Sara’s eyes

9:00pm

Sara was still in her pajamas and on her way back home, exhausted and stuck in the traffic. She had told Lawson’s parents everything. The poor couple was so shattered and also begging her to begin a new life. Sara buried her head on the steering, crying. she hadn’t realized the green light.

“Hey get off the freaking road!” a driver cursed from behind her

“God please don’t let him harm himself…keep him safe and lead me to him…please God…” she quickly started the car and began to move.

Suddenly she remembered the church where they wedded and took their vows. It was two hours from here; she made a u-turn and headed for the church hoping to find some peace.

************

She tiredly got down from the car, drenched and exhausted. She trudged into the open entrance of the church. She paused for a moment; shocked…it was Lawson sitting at the front row of the empty church, facing the altar.

“Lawson!” She began to run towards him, happy, relieved that he was ok.

“Sara?” He quickly stood as she approached him, “Sara…”

They both ran into each other’s arms. He hugged her so tightly

“I looked for you everywhere….this was the last place I thought you’d ever be…I just came and I saw you…Lawson….I’m so happy you are ok” she touched his face

“I didn’t know where else to go…It just feels like I cant face the world anymore…” he slowly released her from his embrace.

“Take my hand” Sara stretched out her hand, “C’mon, just take it”

Lawson gently clasped his hand into hers and she took him to the altar and stood to face him. She searched his eyes so deeply and hadn’t seen him so weak and helpless.

“Five years ago Lawson, we both stood on this altar. Remember our vows? Remember you whispered in my ear never to leave you. I told you I wouldn’t…that’s why I’m here. I am your wife Lawson, I am meant to be with you forever, through the bad and good times. We’ve had good times, why would I leave you now? All I want from you is to believe that you can still give me a child despite what the result said…I want you to believe in a miracle”, she held his face, “remember when you told me I was a miracle in your life?…our children will be our miracles too. Trust God with me because I know it won’t be long…”

“Who are you Sara…” Lawson was weak with her words

“The one who vowed to be with you till the end” she smiled through her thin tears

“God I love you so much” He hugged her again

“So will you come back home with me?” Sara searched his eyes

“I have no other place to call home” He placed a soft kiss on her lips.

2 years after

Lawson and Sara were on the sofa watching a late night movie. Sara was resting on his shoulders when she felt the movement

“Lawson Lawson, it moved again…don’t miss it this time touch touch” she gently placed his palm on the side of the stomach. Both felt the movement of their child

“I can feel him…I can feel him” Lawson placed his head on her belly

“I can feel him growing each day inside of me…”

“What do you think its saying now by this movement?”

“Thank you dada for believing in me” she laughed. They both laughed

“The movement has stopped” he slowly removed his head from her stomach, “I think he’s sleeping”

Sara rested on his shoulders again, “In six months you’d be a father, “You finally got your miracle”

Lawson tilted his wife’s face to him, looking into her eyes, “Sara…you were the miracle I needed. Thank you for not leaving me.”

Sara tickled his nose with hers, “I love you too. Always will”, she smiled, “We missed a whole lot on our movie”

“Movie can wait, but this can’t” He gently planted a kiss on her belly.

THE END

Have a great weekend!