Friday 30 March 2012


Forgive me if this article offends or affects you, I am just speaking from heart, thoughts, experience and research.
Phew! Since that is settled let me proceed into this world of business which has become very lucrative but also being swept under the carpet.
I remember vividly a few years ago during christmas,  my kids and I were home. Later that day my  first daughter walked up to me and asked why we were home just eating, watching movies, praying and playing dress up as usual. I told her that we had fun the previous day and the day before that, so I was wondering what she wanted. She stylishly reminded me that most of her cousins had travelled, others were at a resort, some friends were at the park, some have gone swimming and the list was long. I turned and told her that she should be grateful that she has a roof over her head, she has more than enough to eat and drink, she had family and a parent who loves her to bits. I saw the look on her face and an idea popped up in my head. You see I learnt that with children, words don't work for them all the time, they do better with pictures and experiences.
So I remembered that during one of our sessions at the project alert shelter, I was introduced to three young girls who were abused by their own father and could not be saved by their mother who was a foreigner. It occurred to me that as the court battle went on, the three girls were taken to an orphanage on the island, even though I volunteered to take care of them till the end of the court case. Anyway I decided that to teach my children more about appreciation, I will take them to an orphanage so they can see other kids who had nothing and then appreciate what they have. I also wanted an opportunity to see the three lovely girls again.
We went out to the nearby market and bought rice, oil, packed out clothes that we could give out and other things we didn't need. We drove to the orphanage and when we got there we asked one of the matrons who we could see and where we could drop the things we brought. She quickly asked me to bring out everything and follow her, then she called other women who were working there to assist us.
As we got to the store I was overwhelmed because there was no space to even stand, the room looked like a warehouse filled with goods that a whole city can feast on. It really made me happy because I began to love Nigerians more for the love and care, seeing all they had been contributing.
There was no space to put my own things so they took me to the back of the store where there were other things on the floor that could not fit in there. I was filled with so much joy, so in that excitement I told them my children would love to see the kids there and share some pencils and erasers themselves. They said it was not possible and asked me to go and come back some other time,  so I told them that i was going to report them to the appropriate Authorities. It's a festive season and people should be allowed to show love and spend time with these children. After some minutes of really causing a scene we were finally allowed to see the children. I would not normally do that if I had not noticed two children who peeped when we were walking in and kept  waving at us. I just could not stop thinking about them so I had to insist.
Well, this is where my story begins and I am sure some of you have the same story to tell.
 They then suggested that we stayed in front of the wards so that they can call everybody out to take the gifts. For some reason I insisted that they should let me into the rooms but my children could stay out with my cousin and give out the gifts. As I walked into the boys ward, I immediately understood why they refused to let us see them. The smell coming from that room was enough to make a pig run mad, I saw some of the boys there looking extremely skinny and unkempt, their sheets were old and dirty, no books nor toys around them especially for the little ones. My heart broke and throat began to hurt as I struggled to hold back the tears. In anger I stormed out and walked straight into the girls room, oh trust me this time my head was spinning. I thought I was going to pass out, in order not to offend sensitive people reading this I will restrain myself from giving a vivid picture of what I saw, smelt and experienced. Only God knows what would have happened if I had entered their toilets.
I came out to where all the kids were and there I spotted my three lovely girls. I hugged them so tight to the point that the matron started wondering what the connection was. From wondering it turned to obvious unease because she was not sure what i would find out. I stylishly took the oldest of them aside and asked her what was going on and why they were all looking sick and funny. She said they were only given food when their caretakers were satisfied. I didn't understand that so i told her that I could not accept her story because of the overfull warehouse I saw. She laughed and  said "aunty you don't know that you people have been bringing gifts and food for their own homes and children, we see the amount of things people bring regularly especially during festive periods but at night when they are going home, they share most of these things and take them home". Then she ended by saying "aunty if you want me to be alive please don't say I told you anything". I promised her and went to see the matron, and before I opened my mouth to talk she started telling me how difficult the job can be, how the work takes them away from their families and other things,  how tasking it can be to take care of other people's children. I got so angry and I said "madam did anyone force you to sign up for this job? " she could not answer me, so i told her that I didn't really understand why people donate so much but it does not reflect on these children. It's amazing how we create wrong impressions of ourselves in this country. Nigerians actually give especially to orphans but go there year in year out they are the same, and it then seems like nobody cares not knowing that the people who run some of these homes are just being greedy.
I  took my kids and we got into the car, as we drove out of there they were both crying and talking about some of the kids they interacted with. My second daughter actually said "mummy can't we take them out of that terrible place and bring them to our house? I can sleep on the floor so some of them can take my bed, I can also share my toys with them". I told her that if it were possible I would gladly do it. Then she asked me why I can't take even if it's just one or two at least.  I laughed it off but it got me thinking. So I called aunty Josephine of project alert and lamented bitterly about my experience with the orphanage, she was so upset and we both agreed that at the next hearing we would tell the judge that we want to take care of them till they reach a final verdict.I spoke to a lawyer who said I might not get them to accept for the two younger girls but the older girl was old enough to decide where she wants to go. So I quickly went to the orphanage again and told the matron I wanted to discuss the girls case so she should let me see her. They gave me ten minutes to talk to her, and so i asked her what she wanted, she then said she would love to stay with her siblings but she also knows that her being in there would not help her case. She was the only one who could testify against her dad and so she had to be safe and healthy in order to win the case so that another family can take care of them.

 I went to meet the matron to discuss adoption and that was where part two of my story began.
She said "madam I hope you are ready for this and not give up because you know that you might be on this adoption process for two years". I asked why she said that and when she started telling me what I had to do just to adopt a child and not to build a church with three hundred naira only, I knew something was wrong somewhere. That was when I decided to start investigating some of these orphanages.
In a week I discovered over 20 orphanages in Ikeja and they had plenty children.  Every other street you turned to  had one hidden orphanage. Then I wondered  why people didnt like adopting children, because I know a lot of people who really want to adopt kids. I asked a few people whom I knew wanted children why they have not thought of adoption. Contrary to popular belief it is not just about the society and the stigma, it's the fact that these orphanages make it humanly impossible for you to adopt the kids and they make sure you get frustrated.
This is what I found out:
Orphanages are entitled to grants from foreign organizations and most of them have offices in Ghana, south Africa and Kenya. Once you are a registered orphanage you can apply for funds that they will send monthly. In Nigeria too,  the Government makes sure that they adopt some of these orphanages thereby sending them money for school, food and other basic amenities. At least I knew of one in lekki  that a former Governor adopted, all the children there started bearing his name.
The catch is that you must have a certain number of children that you are taking care of to qualify for the grants and to be adopted.
I Never would have believed it if I had not gone there to try and adopt, I have also sent other people to go and try and they all have different stories to tell.
However, I must point out here that not all of them are the same. There are some credible ones that I have visited personally and it gave me hope that there are still a group of people who really do care. Places like heritage homes, SOS children's village and others. I also give kudos to Mr and Mrs Femi Akintunde Johnson who set up Angel of hope. They have shown so much love and support to these children.
I went to heritage homes some years back and I was so happy with the quality of life and attention the kids were getting. Merely seeing the pictures from when the kids were brought in and how transformed they have become just proved that they are for real.The next phase of my story will be in another article, but just to give you a small idea, I also discovered that some of these women who carry two to three children at the same time under the sun to beg for money actually rent these children from some orphanages and they split the proceeds at the end of the day. More gist later o.

Truth is, I know that I will face a lot or criticism, insults, threats and what have you. I have to speak the truth from what I have experienced and I advice that the government should send people to check out most of these orphanages  because we are talking about the lives of children here, most of whom have been deprived of love, affection and attention.

Stella's Quote of the day : Martin Luther king says "the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenges"

Saturday 24 March 2012

Our Teens

'If you want to hang out with us, you have to be able to manage dating 3 guys at the same time'.. "You can't be our friend with the way you look, your dressing needs to be more revealing, you need to use more makeup".. "Hahahaha, so you want to move around with us and you don't party, you don't drink, you've never had sex, you can't even use a swear word?!"

Sometimes  parents are not aware of the things that go on the lives of kids when they are in school. If I didn't have a young girl I am mentoring that can tell me these things, I also would still be in the dark on such matters. Everything I wrote above was given as a criteria to a young girl that I mentor just so that she could be a part of the "Populars". Shocking?.. Yes I know. In my days, being popular wasn't about how many relationships you could manage or if you have had sex but apparently things have changed.

I'm going to attempt to explain what life in school is like for young boys and girls just the way the girl I'm mentoring explained It to me.
In school you have clans. The 3 major clans are:
The Populars - These are the people that everyone wants to be like. They run the school and are usually feared but still adored by all others. They are rich and almost always badly behaved (so it still puzzles me why others would want to be like them).

The Famzers/Wannabes - The famzers (which are also like wannabes) are people that spend the better part of their time trying to be like the populars. They do everything possible to hang out with the populars so as to officially become a popular.
The Geeks- these are the people that usually get bullied because instead of messing around, they'd rather concentrate on their studies or maybe because their looks are not up to what the populars want or their dressing is not top notch (I don't know who died and made them Fashion Police)

As irrelevant and childish as these things may seem. Its very serious because these little things end up scaring our kids for life becuase in the quest to be one of the "Populars" our kids begin to do crazy things in school.

I once knew of a girl who so desperately wanted to be one of the populars but because she felt she didn't have the looks to get her there, she decided to do whatever it took to be friends with the populars.  So, she intentionally started skipping classes so she could become a "BAD GIRL", then she started paying a lot of attention to the boys that she would normally blow off. After that she agreed to go to the back of the school with a boy so she could finally prove that she had become a big girl. All of a sudden she started to get into a lot of trouble, and guess what, the populars started paying her a lot of attention. One would think that clts only exist in university, sorry to burst your bubble, secondary schools have become the place were cultism exists. I got really scared when i was informed that the girls are the ones who are in the fore front of this practice.
So this is how it works, once you can prove that you can be bad girl, you have started having sex and no teacher can do anyting because you have a way of sorting them out, then you can fully be initiated. The process of initiation will see the girl in question carry out a particular task that can be as bad as sleeping with two teachers in two days, can also be stealing something from the principal's office without being caught.
This might sound shocking and unbelievable, you might even think its a story line from one of our movies. Trust me i wish this was the case. I actually took time to talk to some of these young girls and the things i heard shocked me to my bones. I started thinking of the reasons why these girls do the things they do. I then discovered it had to do with the lack of attention from their home. They feel that this is a way of getting attention and then when they get into, they begin to enjoy it.
Most times there is no one or no means of expressing their frustrations and confusion especially at that age when there is so much about themselves they want to understand. Their bodies are changing, hormones are raging, thought processes are running faster and wilder, exposure is much more now, and so much more. In all of this, there is no one who will create that time to actually sit and explain a lot of things to them, no one to make them understand and contain these changes, no one to make them feel loved and cared for thereby making them confide in their so called friends who are also finding it difficult to understand themselves. When they find solace in these populars, it becomes a drug for them and it becomes easy for them to upgrade whatever bad deed they are involved in. They no longer face bullying because they become one of the bullies.
To make it easier let us call this young girl I am mentoring CJ. This happened to CJ and the process of initiation demanded that she became a lesbian and have a relationship with the leader of the populars.  This really destroyed her because as she grew older she became confused about her sexuality and of course there was no one she could talk to about it.  As we spoke about this she started crying and when i asked her what the most painful part was, she said it was the amount of young girls she did the same thing to before she left and the amount of yong girls who are excited about secondary school who will still face it.
Do we really have guidance councillors in schools? What are their responsibilities? Do we as parents pay attention to physical, emotional and psychological changes in our young girls?
Let's save our children.

Stella's quote of the day : People hate what they can't understand. They can't understand what they can't conquer.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Battle Of The Sexes 2

I was so glad when I got so many messages and feed back from the last article "Battle of the sexes". So by popular demand I am doing a conclusion to that.

One of the first things we need to know is that, men are not the way they are because they just want to drive women crazy. They have been trained from childhood to be a certain way. This makes it difficult for them to be as intimate as you want them to be.

Parents of newborn male babies tend to describe their sons as firmer, larger more alert and stronger etc. Parents of new born female babies describe their daughters as adorable, softer, smaller, prettier and more delicate.
They tend to place more demands on little boys , expecting them to be more responsible and take more risks. Boys are pushed to be independent earlier and faster. Parents offer less comfort to boys than girls when the child is frightened or injured, and they give boys greater freedom at an earlier age. Boys are encouraged to control their emotions and are told that it is not manly to feel strong emotions. Not only are those emotions considered  "weak" such as fear or sadness, but even passion and intense love. Boys are taught that only a narrow range of emotions can be expressed to show their masculine strengths and authority like being competitive, aggressive, angry, defensive, and feelings associated with being in control. As they grow older sexual feelings are added to the list. Weakness, fear, vulnerability, tenderness, compassion and sensuality are allowed only to the   Girls and women, so that a boy who exhibits such traits is likely to be made fun of and called a "wimp".

We are in constant battle between the way men have been taught and the way women want or ask them to be e.g men are taught to be defensive and suspicious, hide their emotions, strong and unconquerable, stay in control but women want them to be trusting and open, show their emotions, express their vulnerability, master the inner world and express intense romance. So you see that most of the major problems are as a result of women telling men that the characteristics they have worked hard to cultivate all their lives are the very ones that drive women crazy and turn them off. And the characteristics they really want to see the men develop are the ones they have been taught to see as "weak" and "feminine". When you think about this, it becomes easier for women to understand why men seem to resist anything that will make them feel they are not in control.
I can assure you that most times men actually want to open up, to learn to feel deeply and express those feelings to the women they love. But to them the process is a bit difficult because of the way most of them grew up.

1. The men in your life need all of the compassion, patience and support you can find in your heart, to help them open theirs.
2. Part of improving your relationship with a man, whether it's your husband, boss, father or brother etc it is not just understanding his behaviour but also taking an honest look at your own behaviour as well.
3. Believe it or not, you may be bringing out the worst in the man you love by the way you behave around them.
4. He needs a wife and a lover, not a mother, so stop treating him like a kid who does not have brains.
5. Don't scold or correct him in public
6. Even when he is wrong, talk to him nicely but at the same time make him believe it was his bright idea that solved the equation, a confident man will not be afraid to admit that his woman is intelligent.
7. Stop acting over helpful by doing things that men would naturally rather do by themselves.
8. Stop thinking you will become indispensable when you make the man depend on you.
9. My mother will kill me for this but i think pet names or abbreviations are better from my point of view than calling your husband "daddy".
10. Mind your language especially when you are upset. You may think men forget hurtful words easily. That is a huge lie, they remember everything you say that is capable of damaging their ego and self esteem.
11. Do not use phrases like "I thought you were this but now I know better", rather try saying "sometimes I am hurt when you say this or do this, it worries me".
12. You cannot change a man who is set in his ways but your attitude and the atmosphere you create around him can do the magic.
13. When he is going through a difficult time with work and his abilities to accomplish, he will definitely not be in the right frame of mind to focus his attention on relationship issues.
14. Even when you are having issues and arguments with your husband, there are three things you should never deprive him of (food, shelter and sex).
15. Your husband feels extremely rejected when you reject his sexual advances, especially when there is no physical or spiritual justification.
16. Men like their wives to also initiate sex, it makes them feel wanted.

I sat down with some of my male friends as usual to get their perspectives on different issues. Then I asked them what their major turn offs in women were, and so i  thought to share this with the women.
1. Unshaved under arms
2. Bad breath
3. Moustache
4. Constant bad hair days
5. Body odour
6. Flags
7. Chipped and peeling nail polish
8. Excessive clinging
9. Wearing tent dresses around the house
10. Nags
11. Loud mouths
12. Too much make up

Having said all these, there are basic things we can do to understand and communicate with our Men better, so we can have better relationships.
Men communicate best when they have focus for the conversation. Due to the fact that they are goal oriented, they tend to feel most comfortable operating within boundaries that they know about in advance. Your man would like to know what the purpose of the discussion is and what you want from him. This gives him the sense that he knows what he is doing when he is talking to you.

Give him an agenda. Tell him exactly what you would like to talk about, what you hope to accomplish and what you expect from him. For example, instead of saying "honey I think we should talk about our relationship" which will make him think there is something you want him to figure out, try "honey, we have been together for this long and I think it's great, but I really would like you to tell me what you think our strengths and weaknesses are, and in what direction and pace you hope it will go". This way you will make it seem like he is the one that will determine the direction but you know that you have taken his attention to the area of the conversation you want him to get to without fighting. Sometimes they get frustrated with hints, be direct.

Another mistake women make including me, is thinking aloud and expecting the man to react instantly to every thought and when they don't, we start to feel neglected and accused of not being sensitive enough. We forget sometimes that men are solution oriented; they internalize their thinking process and communicate the end result. Sometimes when your partner is silent, he is not ignoring you. His mind is probably processing the information you gave him and he has to try to get in touch with his feelings. Also remember that men don't really multi task as much as women do because they are just not built that way.

Let him figure out how to say "I am sorry and I love you" by himself, especially if you say yours without expecting to hear it back all the time. Don't start interrogating him as soon as he opens his mouth, give him time to find his way and help hmm relax. Even if you don't agree with him, just let him know you understand his point but you beg to differ so that he too can give you time to lay your cards.

I am not saying you should walk on egg shells around him, I am just saying try not to hurt his ego, just be sensitive towards his feelings when communicating. After all no one forced you to choose and marry him, so carry your cross the best way possible.

Prayer is also the biggest secret to a successful marriage.
Remember that these are just my thoughts and not rules you must live by. 

 Stella's Quote of the day: Find a man who wants to take full responsibility for fixing himself so that you don't have to do it yourself.

Friday 9 March 2012

Battle Of The Sexes

If there is a battle that has never been won, ended nor understood, it is the battle of the sexes.
I was sitting with a group of friends at soul lounge and one of my male friends made a statement that got us laughing. He said “why do we have to be in relationships when we know they never work? The ones that last are with a lot of pain and struggle, mostly pretence”.

When he said that, I realized that everybody nodded in agreement to what he said. That really made me sad because love and relationships are supposed to be the sweetest and greatest things we should enjoy. As the conversation continued I had to ask him why he said that, and the first thing he was quick to say was “women are from venus and men are from mars”, they are two totally different species so I don’t how they are expected to co-exist successfully.” This became the most interesting topic of the night. I know that this argument has been on for a very long time without accurate answers and solutions. A lot of Authors, Therapists, Doctors, Experts, Parents, Teachers and even Preachers have tried to proffer solutions but no one has been able to clearly state the way to sort this out. As we can see, relationships are the most difficult, complicated and sometimes most discouraging thing ever, but at the same time the most wonderful, sweetest, most fulfilling, most interesting, most educative and most sought after union on earth.
I decided to do some research on this topic and found some brilliant writers who have explained a lot of things and how they think these things can be resolved. That was how I discovered a particular woman called BARBARA DE ANGELIS who wrote WHAT WOMEN WANT MEN TO KNOW and SECRETS ABOUT MEN EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW. As I read these books, I began to realize and understand the major differences between men and women. From the smallest things like the ability to successfully convey your needs to your partner in a way that he will listen, understand and act on it without a fight; to trying to motivate him to do something that would make you happy without making it seem like you are selfish, demanding and too clingy.
Men say women don’t know what they really want, and I must admit that after a very tiring month of research, a lot of women had a long list of things that made me realize that they want a CLARK KENT combined with VOLTRON, DR PHILL and PABLO plus RICHARD BRANSON.

Very few women said they wanted the men to know, value them and accept them for who they are. So the issue now is, how do we make the men know this and still let them know they are in CHARGE. Its difficult to get men to go where we want them to go emotionally, to open up to the kind of intimacy {not just sex} we crave. So we need to know how the mind of a man works before we can understand why they react to certain things the way they do.

1. They can be very spontaneous
2. They listen, but probably more from their heads and not emotions as the saying goes “men are logical and women are emotional”.
3. They want peace, space, calm and freedom
4. They want to feel like they are in charge, and are successful in all they do including their relationship
5. They don’t want hassles, stress and drama.
6. They hate having emotional processes all the time and feel as though they have to keep working on it all the time {darling we need to talk because our relationship is having problems, lets try and find a way to fix it.}
7. They don’t like criticisms but love appreciation.
8. They hate nagging which a lot of women really know how to do.
9. They hate the fact that they have to constantly try to figure out what the woman wants.
There are loads more that I would have loved to share with you but the truth is so many people read these books and try to follow the authors advice and what the therapists have said. Unfortunately textbook analysis and answers hardly work for real life situations, especially when every man is different from the other. We cannot think that what works for Mr A must work for Mr X.

When women sit together and complain about their husbands and boyfriends or partners, they all end up saying men are this and that, men don’t know how to this and that. Its easy to join the train because you don’t want to feel like the odd one out and you don’t want the other women to think that yours is perfect for you while theirs is not so you end up saying what everybody is saying. Sincerely, what kind of man do you have as opposed to what kind of man do you really want?
I shot a pilot of my tv show called SISTAZ and one of my topics was ‘WHAT WOMEN REALLY WANT’ and in the course of the conversation my very good friend ITA said “ I want to begin to look at relationships as a business venture”. The studio exploded with laughter, even the crew members were laughing so hard. By the time she explained what she meant, it made a lot of sense. She explained that “when you go into a business, first of all you must understand and study the business, its terrain, market values, import or export implications, start up capital and expected profits, your whole business plan and many other things”. Meaning that you will have to study, understand the business like the back of your hand. If there is a manual that comes with the machines you need depending on the kind of business you must read the manual if you have to operate it. We find that we read manuals for things that are valuable to us that we are not so familiar with. After all that, you must service your business. This means finding the right location for the office or store, getting the right kind of staff, furnishing it with the right equipment, going all out to advertise your business, trying to upgrade a data base and so on. All these have to be done in order for your business to move forward, attract customers and most importantly make profits because that is the main reason for investing in  the business in the first place.
Then finally you have to believe in the business that you are into so that it motivates you to want to come up with innovative ideas that will help the growth and development of the business which in turn will ensure constant turn over and profit. So if you believe that the business will profit you, then you will put in your best efforts to ensure the smooth running of this business that you believe in and understand so much.
Now the exercise here is remove all the places I have written “ YOUR BUSINESS” and replace it with “YOUR RELATIONSHIP”. Try and see if it all makes sense.
The truth is that no book, Therapist, Doctor or even Preacher can tell you how to handle a man or a relationship because people are different. You meet a guy who is from a totally different background, whose beliefs and yours might not be the same, who probably was raised with the ideology of men being superior, and you were brought up exactly the opposite way. How do you expect to live with him if you don’t understand where he is coming from and why he is the way he is. Get to know the one you are with, if you believe in that relationship you have then you have to try to make that extra effort to find out who your partner truly is, his reaction to certain things and so on. Know him like the back of your hand the way you know your best friend. 

I am sure by now, you understand that this article is talking to the woman. The next one will be for the men. Let us tell the men how they can understand us and live in peace. All my male readers get ready for this. Don’t forget to send your comments please they really inspire me.
Stella's Quote of the day: I truly believe I am a performer and not a member of the audience. Who are you?

Thursday 1 March 2012

When is it enough?

It was 8a.m that morning and i was already dressed in my black dress, black shoes, no make up, my brushed hair in a pony tail. I was heading to yaba for a friend's funeral. She was 35 and beautiful, a mother of two beautiful children. Really did not want to go because I was not sure of how i was going to react. I was not sure if I could pull myself together. Anyway, I got to the church and it was packed full with people who knew her and who had heard of her. As I approached the church I was already battling with the huge lump in my throat, making sure that i could at least sit through the service. I managed to go inside, then the ushers took me upfront to sit with the family. I saw her mother and siblings who were crying uncontrollably, so I tried to console them while battling with that same lump. I did all I could until the kids walked into the church with the nanny. Oh my goodness, now that lump has melted into liquid so the flood gates flung open and the tears started gushing out. It was not a very pleasant sight as the choir leader could not continue the song.  This is to give you an insight to the kind of person my friend was and the life she lived. She was extremely intelligent, kind, simple and most of all, was so in love with God and His word. Well as I tried to calm down, he walked in. THE HUSBAND. I am sure by now you are thinking I would run to console him since I was very close to her and he knew me. Instead of that I stood up and walked to the other side of the church And sat down. That was  when i knew how much respect I had for the church and the dead.  If I could, I would lock him up in the coffin so he could go with her, after all he put her there in the first place. We had all begged, prayed, complained, reported, and fought, just to get him to stop beating her. I  was tired of seeing the black eye, the swollen face, the bruised arms and the constant headaches. It was so bad that  I had  to tell him that one day he would do something really bad to his wife and end up behind bars. Little did I know that the day in question was fast approaching.  He had beaten her so much for sending  her own money to her mum without telling him, and when she tried to protect herself by pushing him off her, he got infuriated and hit her head on the wall. This time no black eye, no bruise to worry about, she just did not wake up.  When her sister called me in the middle of the night I was not sure whether to cry or get angry or scream. My whole body was shaking and all I could say was " no no no please God no no no please".  I started to feel guilty, "maybe I should have moved her out of there" but then again who am i to move her out of her husband's house when she herself refused to move. It really hurt so much that even as I am writing this I am still crying.  The case was taken to court and was dismissed because according to the courts the evidence was not enough, and so he was discharged and acquitted. In a country where an accurate autopsy cannot be carried out, let alone crime investigation, What do you expect?  She Is dead and gone but the killer is walking freely and as usual he has custody of the children whom he has passed on to his new wife. My heart has been bleeding ever since because I know that this is happening to so many women. Some are still alive today to tell their stories, some are afraid to cry out for help, some cover up when they are asked questions about their black eye, some believe that there is no justice for the abused woman because other cases they have heard of, have always favored the man and lastly some are not alive anymore to speak up. As sad as this is, it is still happening even as I write.   Now it has progressed to acid baths, body mutilation,  and other unthinkable things. In anger, I stormed to the church we all attended and demanded to see the head pastor. When he came out I screamed and yelled and people came into the church to hold me down. Please do not think I disrespect men of God. Oh far from it, infact I respect them so much because without some of them who have mentored me, i would not be the person i am today. Truth of the matter is, my late friend's sister told me that a few days before she died, she had gone to meet the pastor in fear because she had another fight with her husband who told her that he was ready to kill her and nothing would happen to him. He kept saying "na naija we dey o and when you die your dead body no go come prove to the court say na me kill you". My late friend then called her sister to tell her what had happened and that she was going to see the pastor. I asked her sister why pastor? Why not police? The sister laughed and said do you know how many times she tried that? The policeman she met on duty laughed and said "madam na domestic matter be dis abeg, husband and wife must fight, go beg your husband". When her husband found out he laughed and asked if she thought she was in America, then he beat her some more for even attempting. So she went to the pastor and told him everything again because that was not the first time she went  to him to complain and ask for help. As usual the pastor said " my daughter, there is nothing God cannot do, please prayer is what you need. Keep praying to God to touch his heart, he will not kill you and he will not harm you. Go back home and maintain peace please, remember that God hates divorce so you cannot leave your home and children". She left there feeling so dejected and scared, and so she called her sister and told her all the pastor had said. I tried to think about what could have been going on in her head everyday of her life thinking that there is no SAFE HAVEN. The man who swore to love and protect you is the one who is killing you, the parents who gave you to him in marriage will tell you not to leave your home because it is not a family trait and it will bring shame upon the family, you are too ashamed to even let people know you are going through domestic violence for fear of being stigmatized, you are not protected by law enforcement agents nor the law because some of them do the same thing to their wives, then the only place which is the house of God also tells you to go back to the place where you are being destroyed. My heart broke and that was when I cried the most because no one knows what she could have gone through alone. So I looked at this pastor and said I hope you are happy now, I hope you are satisfied that she listened to you and got killed in the process.  I am not saying I support separation or women running out of their homes, but I insist that there must be temporary measures to take the woman to a safe place until things can be resolved. She has to at least be alive first before any reconciliation or anything can even take place. My question today is, what does the church do in cases like this? Is it saying that because of doctrines women should remain there and die? Is it saying that apart from prayer there is no other way to help? I poured out my heart to the pastor and asked him a question directly without any apologies, "if your daughter came to you, bruised everyday, threatened and battered, would you tell her to go back there and pray? What if she does and gets killed? What would your reaction be? Will you be able to live with yourself?  Then I calmed down and said God bless you pastor and thank you, I hope this means she will go to heaven. He could not say a word to me so I walked out. Call this ranting, lamenting, disrespectful, but one thing is for sure. We need answers, we need to shout it out loud, we need to educate women and let them know they can cry out for help. I can't stress this enough,  if you are going through any form of violence especially domestic violence, you can get help. Please don't die for nothing. Make that call to project alert now  01 4737270, 08052004698 or send an email to, log on to their website Enough is enough,  the time to act is now. Say no to Domestic violence. Dedicated to all the women who have lost their lives through domestic violence.  May their souls rest in perfect peace.