Religious holidays are a time to reflect and reappraise the way we live our lives

Do These Holidays Really Mean Anything To Us?

Nearly 2.5 million Muslims participated in the Hajj (a spiritual exercise that constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam) this year. The figures have risen steadily over the years, and it is safe to presume the next couple of years will follow the same upward trajectory in numbers. The El al-Adha holiday is one both Muslims and Christians can identify with even though it is not officially celebrated by Christians. The story of Ibrahim (Abraham in the Bible) and God’s command to him to sacrifice his son, Ismail is recorded in the two most popular holy books. Eid-el Kabir is tagged, a festival of sacrifice—one that commemorates a test of faith and belief in the supreme being.

The Biggest Fight Of Your Life

“Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your vow” – Godfrey of Ibelin

 

At the basest level, humans go through the same challenges: juggling family and vocation, giving attention to the things that really matter—making and sustaining a living, staying healthy—nurturing relationships. For people in developing countries, poverty is an ever-looming possibility, so there’s a constant battle to stay afloat financially. Add political turmoil and insecurity to the mix, and there’s no doubt that everyone has sufficient burdens to keep them busy. However, there’s a challenge that never ceases to rear its head. One that’s designed to break anyone who isn’t deliberate about self-awareness and authenticity.

Busola Dakolo's Rape Allegation Against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo

Bringing Rape Home For The Thomases

I suffer from shock. Anytime something untoward or unexpected happens to me, I am immobile for a few seconds or minutes before gathering myself and willing myself into a reaction. This also means that I am not the type to shout, burst into tears or wail on receiving unpleasant news. The tears come later…after processing events. My friend, Anna (real name withheld), on the other hand, is highly emotional. The tears are never far away whenever she gets upsetting news; at other times, she would let out a scream or shout of pain. Two friends, two different reactions to bad news.

The Inevitability Of Process

Process can be such a frustrating phenomenon. Think about it: you have to save and invest consistently over a period of time (years or even decades) to build wealth. A woman has to carry a child for three-quarters of a year before she births it. And after this, it takes years and years of raising and nurturing before the child gets a chance to be independent. In these parts, we have to go through 6 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education and at least 4 years of tertiary schooling to become a graduate. An eventuality that in no way guarantees success or wealth.

Conversation Is The Real Romance

Someone to talk to. A concept that is simple and seemingly common but in reality, hard to find. What we consider conversation most times is idle chit-chat; small talk that holds no weight. But the baring of the soul, no holds barred exchange with another is a rarity. At a time when trusting associates with private information is a precarious venture no thanks to the trend of letting it all out on social media, the circumspect keep their most treasured thoughts tucked in the recesses of their heart. They would rather it killed them than run the risk of spilling to someone who might divulge it to others.

5 Lessons I Learnt From 5 Years Of Blogging

I am in a state of wavering disbelief right now. I am having a hard time believing I have actually blogged for five whole years! Every week, every Wednesday, I have shared my thoughts, feelings and opinion on wide-ranging subjects—when I was excited—and when the last thing I wanted to do was write. I have battled the imposter syndrome; written essays that barely got a hundred views and been misunderstood for my blogging intentions. But I have also enjoyed unbelievable goodwill from strangers: people who overestimated my talent and called me a genius.

Don’t Be A Storyteller; Be Consistent

Last weekend, he hit the 20-goal mark for a sixth successive Premier League season. His name is Sergio Kun Aguero, and he is the epitome of consistency. Aguero’s lone goal was the difference between league title contenders, Manchester City and hard-to-beat Burnley Football Club. The Argentine is only the second ever player to return 20 goals or more six times in a row in England’s elite football competition. The goal that helped him equal Thierry Henry’s record was not spectacular, but it was effective. One man doing what he knows how to do best. Doing it well. And more importantly, doing it consistently.

Between Independent Thinkers And Clout Chasers

I find the bandwagonism that pervades the virtual space annoying. It only takes one influential social media personality to say something and their horde of followers are quick to lap it up. The dearth of independent thinking—the ability to analyse an issue dispassionately—and put forward a personal opinion is a reality of these times. Whether it pertains to more serious issues like police brutality, ethnic or racial profiling, gender discrimination, or matters of less importance such as the debate regarding who’s the greater legend between Michael Jackson and Beyonce, people are often inclined to pitch their tent where the greater population leans. But things have begun to change.

Ethiopian Air Crash: The Thoughts That Plague Me

My friend request still lingers on his Facebook profile.

Now I know it’ll never be accepted.

When rumours of his death began to gain traction on social media, I was slightly alarmed but quickly dismissed it as the usual negative excitement that often accompanied bad news in the virtual space. Knowing that people have a penchant for peddling fake news because they cannot be bothered to wait for credible news sources to report events, I muttered a prayer in the hope that it emanated from some mischief-loving individual.

And then it was confirmed.

How to Survive the Season of Savages

The gloves are off and the fangs are out. Caution has been flung to the wind and we have arrived at a time when people have no care for the sensitivity of others. You’ll have to be living under an escarpment to miss this trend. As the 2019 elections draw closer, supporters of political parties have grown more desperate to see that their opponents do not gain the upper hand in the jostle for the approval of the electorate. A mash-up of this with the growing discourteous tendencies of young people is snowballing into a society where respect and civility are going extinct.