Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
What you do matters: Many parents mistakenly believe that by the time children have become teenagers, there is nothing more a parent can do. Wrong. Studies clearly show that good parenting continues to help teenagers develop in healthy ways, stay out of trouble and do well in school.
You can’t be too loving: Don’t hold back when it comes to pouring on the praise and showing physical affection. There is no evidence that adolescents are harmed by having parents who are unabashedly loving- as long as you don’t embarrass them in front of their friends.
Stay involved: Many parents who were actively involved in their child’s life during the early years withdraw when their child becomes a teenager. This is a mistake. It is just as important for you to be involved now- maybe even more so. Participate in school programs. Get to know your child’s friends. Spend time together.
Adapt your parenting: Many parenting strategies that work at one age stop working at the next stage of development. As children get older for example, their ability to reason improves dramatically, and they will challenge you if what you are asking doesn’t make sense.
Set the limit: the most important thing children need from their parents is love, but a close second is structure. Even teenagers need rules and limits. Be firm but fair. Relax your rules bit by bit as your child demonstrates maturity. If he or she can’t handle the freedom, tighten the reins and try again in a few months.
Foster Independence: Many parents erroneously equate their teenagers drive for independence with rebelliousness, disobedience or disrespect. It’s healthy for adolescent to push for autonomy. Give your children the psychological space they need to learn to be self-reliant and resist the temptation to micromanage.
Explain your decisions: Good parenting has expectations, but in order for your teenager to live up to them, your rules and decisions have to be clear and appropriate. As your child becomes more adapt at reasoning, it is no longer good enough to say “Because I said so”.
Culled from Time, July 7 2004 edition.
I used to complain that this generation has been the most disadvantaged period young people ever tried to live in. An average youth of today lives in quiet desperation; he is increasingly faced with the fear of the future as a result of the short comings of the present that is navigated by economic depression, moral decadence, loss of family values etc.
This information age where technology plays a huge role in making life easy and keep us in the know also indirectly agitate us daily. The invention of new gadgets is making young people materialistic as they clamor for “more”. The cause of increase in youth crime is attributed to the violence they watch on television. Easy access to information on the internet is turning us into a copy and paste generation!
However, it is quite daunty to tell if the difficulties that beset this generation are any worse than those of older generation or is it permissible to believe they passed them all to us? Why do people keep saying the older generation has failed us? It does not matter who we blame, it is this generation that still has to bear the brunt. We all need to take the responsibility to change things for the better by doing the right things in the right way for posterity.
Monday, December 10, 2007
through which I could reachout to this hurting world
and wipe out that tears rolling down her cheeks
I know, I know
I must tread only on that part I know well
else I cramp my style with stinking gibberish
My wallet is flat tonight
please don't count on that
Still this urge to belong
an undiluted desire to serve
yearns so loudly I can hold back no more
in total submission my heart cry
"use me lover of my soul"
to be a helping hand in my society
to learn to give without asking for anything in return
to be able to influence others into aiming for the best
never to try playing god over my peers
to you my king I obediently surrender
Going into unfamiliar territory will not destroy your old, comfortable world. Rather, it will expand your world, your vision, your knowledge and your possibilities. The next time you come across a road that you've never traveled -- whether it is an idea, a person, a belief system, or an actual road -- take a side trip and make your world a bigger, more interesting place.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME by God's grace!
Everyday around the world, millions of young people go to bed with problems and wake up only to find them still unsolved. However, youths like Jessica Remington, USA; Dayo Israel, Nigeria; Craig Kielburger, Canada, to mention but a few take action through their youth oriented organizations to bring about profound change (not without challenges).
I still meet and hear about other young people full of ideas on how they want to cause a positive turn around on issues they are most passionate about. A colleague intrigued me when he said one day “I cannot solve all the problems in the world but one way I try to solve them is to make sure I am not a problem in and to the world”. I believe that sometimes, the change we really need to affect the world must start with us. Like Gandhi well stated “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. The numerous problems we have in our society will stop duplicating in other forms when we begin to take personal responsibility of putting ourselves in order and do things right.
A practical example is the corruption that poses as one of the major issues bugging our society today. In fact, it is one of the top hindrances of Nigeria's progress. We are quick to blame our government every time the issues is raised, closing our eyes deliberately (or not) against our own flaws. By this, I refer to the students who bribe Lecturers to award marks they never worked for; Parents who bribe off PHCN officials instead of paying their bills; Drivers who drive recklessly without license and police who take bribe from them instead of apprehending them etc.
If our society must change, the change must start with us as individuals. The new strategy I recommend for affecting significant change is to dream big dreams in small ways... a change move faster if we take personal responsibility to live the change and influence others positively to do same. For instance, if you are bugged about the increasing rate of unemployment in Nigeria, use your resources to create job opportunities or advocate for youths to build entrepreneurial skills.
Oprah Winfrey said “A passion should be as natural as breathing”. If your passion for change is as natural as breathing, then be the change you want to see in the world, be excited about living positively
Parents who fail to live up to their responsibility to train their children well and maintain a good parent-child relationship risk being abuse in future. Therefore, it is crucial that the 21st century parents rise above the norms, put their feet down and not spare the rod. Parents do not have to get violent or brutal when treating a child who they think is a rebel. I am not a parent yet, but I have a mother with whom I am in good terms with, do not get me wrong, we still have mother-daughter disagreement every now and then but a manageable one! Perhaps, this can be attributed to the fact that when I was growing up as a kid, the rod was not spared.
Blondie is right, so many parents are being abused by their children not because they fail to leave up to their responsibility but perhaps because the relationship they have with their children has been compromised in more ways than one. There are no laws to protect parents from being abused by their children and I doubt if there will be any soon, thus parents need to revisit the kind of relationship they have with their children and mend any fallout. Parents should train-up their children in the way of the Lord and the lines will fall into pleasant places!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Is it really possible? Can we have the emergence of a generation that has less of HIV infected people? For this year’s world AIDS day, I did not want to cramp myself in another long seminar with boring speeches (that sometimes leaves me very depress). So I decided to carryout a public opinion poll to find out what most youths think about the possibility of having a HIV-free population.
Majority of those interviewed affirmed that a HIV-free population is possible. They however directed their concern to the need for more dissemination of HIV related information to empower people to protect themselves from being infected. They also emphasized on the need for behavioral change towards the people living with HIV/AIDS. Indeed, if they are given the needed care and support, these people would not want to keep spreading the virus.
Meanwhile, contrary to these views, others who did not believe that a HIV-free population is possible insisted that a 100% HIV-free population is not possible because the youths who are the most vulnerable group do not adhere to the counsel of adults who warn them against exhibiting risky behavior that exposes them to HIV infection.
Information gives the power to be transformed. We all need the right information to keep us abreast on the current trend of HIV/AIDS. For instance, do you know that between 1.7 million and 4.2 million Nigerians are HIV positive and about 1.3 million children have been orphaned by AIDS? Despite the alarming statistics, I personally believe that a HIV-free population is possible if we all play our role to ensure it!
The dream of a HIV-free population in Nigeria begins with you and me. We must all take personal responsibility to know our HIV status, protect ourselves from being infected and stop the stigma against those living with HIV. Afterall, stigma and discrimination is said to be the most significant barrier to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Boluwatife wrote: hi Jennies, dis is decoded, I would love to know series of thing about your column in the dailies
Salamatu Ama wrote: hi, I like to you this moment because of the Article you wrote on July 1 2007 about "Gentle wind of change" which was much pleased to my understanding and i would like to befriend you and know much about your publication and much advice concerning how one can become something good in future, how to aim at what you would like to do in future and indeed after thorough research in your article I found my self pleased at how a lady really can become something useful at planning. I would therefore like to befriend you as my penpal. Hope you will reply with love. Thank you.
Tayo Olatunde wrote: Hello, I saw your writing on a news paper, so i decided to say hello to you. I love your writing skills. Keep it up!
Olu'mayowa. A.Adeniran, DEVELOPMENT NEWS NETWORK (DNN) wrote: Jenny, I hail you for interest in DIS GENERATION of ours. Bravo, to a young woman, who believe that our generation shall see and enjoy the prosperity of our forefathers...keep it up buddy. I enjoy your articles in the newspaper 'THE NATION every Sunday. I started following from the article titled ' PRESCRIPTION' edition, that you talked about abortion- who to blame? Individual, society or moral trust? Abortion kills...Wetin be 'ONE CHANCE BAG' Jenny? Na one chance bus i know for Lag! but honestly our young women needs to be more careful as they move around do their things. Man! Nigerian youth are 'WAITING FOR THE GOVERNMENT' to do every bits even bath & feed them. I joined you mostly to start mentoring our youth on thinking creatively because possibility thinkers are the ones on top… like you Jenny.
So keep doing your stuffs, people are watching you and you are impacting them, what we all need is to keep encouraging each other and see to our well-being as we move ' DIS GENERATION' to greater height. Keep the good work.GOD BLESS, NIGERIA
My Response: Thanks guys! Yeah, we will keep our passion burning for positive change and by God’s grace, our efforts shall not be in vain. Hope we all shall indeed keep playing our part well, no matter which way the world turns. A special thank you to Mr Lekan Otunfodunrin, THE NATION, for giving this generation a voice in the media. The best is yet to come!
Friday, November 23, 2007
The scene of cyber crime a.k.a yahoo yahoo evoked laughter among the audience, comprising of youths and parents, I hope we all know that Internet fraud is really a serious form of corruption that is eating deep into this generation. Some attribute it to the sudden quest for wealth among youths but is there no honest way of making money other than defrauding others? Whatever happened to the joy one derives from sweating to achieve honest result?
Another major issue that cannot be over flogged is the one about female students who glory in the fact that they are part-time prostitutes. Here is how the narrator framed it “Oh! Our daughters have left school. Ever heard of the word ‘aristo’? It is coined from aristocrat and it means the beautification of prostitutes. Young girls spend time with lecturers and sugar daddies, their excuse is that they need the sugar daddies for money and lecturers for free marks; all they have to do is pay a little price with their body. What has become of our daughters? ”
Most of these young people think that the only way to survive these days is to celebrate immorality. No longer does corruption hide in the dark shadow, they are everywhere, they even have complimentary cards for easy contact! Have you heard of a parent who wishes her daughter goodluck each time she sets off for ‘school’ and remind her to bring the money home? Money, money money! The lack of it seems to be doing more harm than bad government. Parents have lost their voice and authority over their children because they do not meet up to the financial standard, but is that really a yardstick for measuring parent-child relationship?
Now before you draw my attention to the just concluded Big Brother Africa reality show and to the fact that Richard who despite his promiscuous nature got away with the first prize while Ofunneka, the ‘decent’ and most loved by viewers got nothing, let me ask you, what contribution did you make to ensure Ofunneka emerge winner? Did you make any conscious effort to vote for her? After all, like Edmund Burke said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing!”
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
If you have never taken out time to study a world map, you would probably mistaken the word “Mauritania” (An African country) for a name of a new soft drink, just like someone once asked if Nigeria was a country or another continent besides Africa! There is a popular saying that an average American youth thinks the world begins and end in America. How about we Nigerian youths? How much do we know about the rest of the world? Do we judge others by the situation in Nigeria? How much of global issues are we conversant with? Can we stand with our contemporaries any day to talk these issues without fear or intimidation?
Global Education is having an accurate knowledge of global geography and a personal perspective on how the world works. It entails the ability to understand and intelligently discuss topics which are global in scale. Having a sound knowledge of global issues is as of great importance as knowing about our local issues because to some extent, the knowledge we gain can be usefully applied in solving local issues- no matter how irrelevant it may seem.
Being globally conscious will also enable one learn and work collaboratively with individuals representing diverse culture, religions and backgrounds in the spirit of mutual respect and genuine interest. As our world is becoming more united by electronic communication system, we must thus step up and explore the opportunities this creates to know more about issues outside our primary domain. With just a click of your mouse, you can travel far without worrying about VISA or air ticket!
Global education is one of the indispensable skills of the 21st century youth, know and be in the know so that when next you talk, others will listen with respect. Poverty is no excuse for mediocrity, let us all take up the responsibility and develop our skills to promote inter-cultural understanding to effect positive change! Who knows, this may be the beginning of an emergence of a generation ready to continuously project the good image of Nigeria at global level.
Friday, November 09, 2007
The month of November is like being nineteen. At Nineteen you know you are just gone past being a child and on your way to adulthood. But you don’t get the usual euphoria you had at eighteen. Adults see you as a child while children see you as an adult, there you are caught between opinions, but it is how you see yourself that matters most.
Being Nineteen has a sobering effect on one’s life and so does November. It awake that genuine need in us to begin to look at life more seriously, where we stand and ought to be standing. When you look at the past months on the calender, what crosses your mind? Do you measure your life by one of these two criteria- success and failure? If so, then you should not be too much in a hurry to conclude on how well or how bad you have performed this year.
November means, although January to October is gone, you still have the blessings of two months, with possible opportunities to make the best use of what is left of the year 2007. Build on your strength and passion, don’t be afraid to admit your short comings, evaluate the past and learn from your mistakes and success.
It does not matter what page you are on, take out time to thank God for the gift of life! Envision your future, gather momentum, crawl, walk, or take a leap to get there but don’t let your dreams slip through your fingers unaccomplished!
The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastored by Tunde Bakare, a frontline Tele-Evangelist is to organise a leadership programme for youths across Nigeria to help them preapre for leadership role in Nigeria. The 3-day programme tagged “The Future Leaders Congress” was conceived as a result of the fact that the quality of every Nation's leadership determines the quality and advancement of the Nation. Hence, the destiny of any country lies in the development of visionary and servant leaders because everything rises and falls on leadership.
Since independence, Nigeria has lacked servant and visionary leaders. Thus, this has adversely affected her value system, economy, political system as well as the spiritual climate of the country. In view of this, on November 1st to 3rd 2007, The Latter Rain Assembly, through its youth-arm called Legacy Youth Fellowship with support from Pastor Tunde Bakare will be organizing this 3-day national leadership training programme with the aim of salvaging the decadence in the church and the Nation.
According to the Youth Pastor, Rotimi Oyekunle, the main objective of the programme is to raise servant and visionary leaders for the church, the market place and the Nation by empowering them with sound and effective Kingdom doctrine and skills that will enable them raise kingdom standards in their domain of influence.
Pastor Rotimi revealed that the vision of the programme in the heart of the serving overseer of the church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, is to groom, prepare, nurture and release young people to fulfill destiny. “we should all be concerned about the future because we would have to spend the rest of our lives there” he said.
The youth Pastor further explained that the future leaders congress is also geared to raise servant and visionary leaders who know the heart of God. “During the congress, there will be an impartation that will prepare youths to take leadership position for the future. It will be an opportunity for youths to take action and embrace responsibility for change. Nigeria will never change if we do not accept the responsibility to change it” he added.
Meanwhile, the activities of the event which is scheduled to take place from 6pm daily at the church auditorium in Ogba includes plenary-teaching session, seminars, exhibition, music concert etc. The programme is targeted at youths from all works of life- Churches, Schools, Youth groups, Corporate and Public Organization.
The Legacy Youth fellowship is a body of vibrant and destiny-oriented youths of the Latter Rain Assembly, comprising of young people from ages 13 and above, who are not married. The fellowship has a mission to nurture a company of cohesive youths for dynamic leadership with responsibility and resourcefulness for the purpose of carrying forward the purpose of the kingdom of heaven on earth.
I'm still on the One World youth project board, doing my best to make the world a better place, still writing the weekly youth column on THE NATION newspaper... yeah, Dis Generation has come to stay! lol. Thanks to Mr. Lekan Otunfodurin who gave me the rare opportunity to run the column :) We should have more adults like him! God Bless you Sir!
Looking forward to the best which is yet to come! Until then, I choose to keep winning by righteousness! God dey!!!
Meery Christmas in advance friends!!
Going into unfamiliar territory will not destroy your old, comfortable world. Rather, it will expand your world, your vision, your knowledge and your possibilities. The next time you come across a road that you've never traveled -- whether it is an idea, a person, a belief system, or an actual road -- take a side trip and make your world a bigger, more interesting place.
After I have dressed up for the day, I usually spend about three minutes or so in front of the mirror to examine my look. At this point, 100% of my attention is on what I am wearing and how I look in them. I ask myself: am I dressed in a way I would like to be addressed today? If I should bump into Hilary Clinton (lol) on my way out, will I make a good first impression with my looks? Will the Commissioner of Police's boys find me worthy for their fashion police crew to arrest for indecent dressing? Do I look well prepared to meet any opportunity God sends my way today?
It is not that I am one of those fashionister of the 21st century, no not at all. I wear anything that suits the occasion as long as I am comfortable in them. However, my Penchant for decent dressing is growing by the day, thus I equally enjoy advocating for the need for us youths to imbibe a good dress culture, and continue to dress for success, whatever the weather. We shouldn't allow just anything or anyone dictate how we dress. Be conscious of your dress dress sense well enough to avoid wearing a low waist jeans that exposes everything a normal jeans ought to cover. Guys in this case are not left out of the absurd dress sense we youths sometimes exhibit.
Now back to the focus of discussion, my mirror serves me well in carrying out the ritual because it does not hold back any opinion. I see clearly what needs to be seen as long as the light illuminates it well. Forgetting to carry out this ritual is like a farmer who goes to the farm without any farm tools or like a driver who wants to drive a car without his keys. Although I still succeed in living out the day, it sure is never the same. Anyway, what is your own ritual? It could be an evening ritual, for instance, something you do every night before you go to bed. It could also involve as many people as possible. All the same, whatever your ritual is, keep it tasteful (positive) and unique.
I won't really say I am not guilty of talking during an exam, or better explained, I am learning how to break this habit of whispering during exam. I met a group of students who have been obeying the rule of "no talking" and guess what? They also happen to be the best in their class. Although some of their mates think them impossible people who do not want to share what they know with others, but they say they are happy to share their knowledge as long as it is done before examination commence. They don't have to stand the risk of falling into depression at the end of the day when those who ask get better result due to their expertise in combining effort- what they know+what you told them = better marks.
What an admirable standard to emulate! But of course one have to work extra hard to keep up such standard. Most people believe examination is not a true test of one's knowledge, but obeying simple rules does not start and end in the exam hall. It builds one's confidence, character and earn you respect. Moreover, at the end of the day, you are able to accurately measure how good or bad your attempt is in a do-it-yourself exam... so remember to obey the golden rule when next your sit for your next test or exam- NO talking!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Consequently, I sent her an SMS to ask where she would like to hangout… Silverbird Cinema, Beach, City mall or National Museum were some choice places I mentioned. And to my surprise, she replied my text choosing National Museum and City Mall over the rest. It is not that the others were not a great place to hangout, however, National Museum did sound more interesting because it was 100% different from the rest of them. So there is a tip on what young people like: Young people like things that are different, especially if it does make them feel different and think different. For instance, hanging out in a place like National Museum will sure get you to think more deeply about life after seeing all those artistic display!
Now, our next place of call was the City Mall, the beauty about this is that my friend chose the place without knowing it was directly beside the National Museum. So there we were, moving aimlessly from one shop to another, pretending to be one of the shoppers who were taking their time to look around before making a purchase. It didn’t really matter if others knew we were window shopping, the fact remained that we were having a nice time by just doing that! Now there is another fact about what young people like to do: Young people like to chill out and engage in things that don’t place a financial demand on them. Don’t get me wrong, there are obviously a few young people out there who get fulfillment by spending the money they do not have.
Young people also like things that cheer them up. That is why you will find more young people watching MTV base over some home video. Why do you think children like to have clowns like Teletubbies at their parties? To cheer them up of course! It sure adds color to the event. Every interesting and lively thing is good stimulus for young people. Some young people also love to do drugs. I don’t exactly know why they do it or what they derive from doing it... What ever it is you like as a young person, make sure it is something that adds value to you... Don’t just attract what you think you deserve, attract nothing but the best!
Many young people are beginning to think the issue of abstaining from sex until one's marriage night is gradually loosing its popularity vote in this generation due to societal norms. But we can't blame the society in its totality for the hype about accepting pre-marital sex as part of its norm, at least if parents, who are part of the society, were playing their role well in being a child's first educator on such issues, no amount of pressure from their peers will be able to derail their social values.
For instance, a child begins to read romance novels at the age of seven and his/her parents applaud such decision, "it will help you embellish your English" they say. Then at the age of fourteen, with no parents in sight, the child is motivated by his/her peers to try out the sensous act those novels have talked so much about. It is not a pregnant teenage daughter or a HIV positive son that eventually wakes the Parents to the reality of their failure but the knowledge of how much their "baby" has lost his or her innocence.
The moral decadence in the society today cannot be only blamed on the Parent's lack of interest in their children's activities, the media's power to casually disseminate X-rated movies under the auspices of Parental guidance or the Priest who do not directly address the youths on such issues for fear of it driving them away from Chapel... but also on our lack of taking personal responsibility!
Sometimes it does not really matter how much advice we get, we have a way of doing only what seems right in our own eyes. Thus, the decision to remain a Virgin until after marriage is a choice no one can make for us. But for those who have been deflowered or who are nymphomaniac in nature, I advice you seek professional and godly counsel. There is still dignity in Zipping up 24/7. Make that decision today and stand out of the crowd...no one else can make it for you!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Please turn off the TV/radio and shut out all the noise around you... and thank God for Nigeria just the way things are! We will be celebrating Nigeria at 47 come October 1st. Hurray! For yet another opportunity this independence anniversary to count our blessings. Yeah, we should not spend that day counting our loses, but instead channel our energy towards thanking God for 47 things about Nigeria, draw up an agenda of how to improve Nigeria in 47 areas of your choice and perhaps congratulate other Patrotic Nigerians and tell them 47 more reasons on why they should keep equiping themselves with what is needed to move forward. Obviously, 47 is not the end of the race... the best is yet to come!
In this same atmosphere of gearing up for October 1st independence celebration, think of the following as ways we can build our commitment to the development of this country at any level:
More creativity: As we all know, some issues affecting Nigeria seems to be taking more complicated turn, thus the need for us in this generation to begin to think deelpy and create innovative ideas that will tackle such challenges. While others are moaning about the state of affairs, we should be thinking and acting on how to help solve the issues so we don't end up compounding the problem.
Civic Literacy: As citizens of this country, it is not enough to exercise our rights and fulfill obligations without fear or favour. We must all continually equip ourselves with the basic knowledge of what is happening in government or how else can we hold them accountable on issues affecting the youths if we do not know anything they are up to? Moreover, since we do not want to grow into a generation that talk out of context or criticise the government out of ignorance, it is vital that we have a willingness and ability to participate effectively in government- we do not need a ministerial position to do that!
Communication: This is not about appraising the GSM network, but about our ability to let go of our strong hold on ethnicity/tribalistic mindset. It is appaulling that so many people still discriminate against others just because they are from an ethnic group different from theirs. As a true Nigerian, we should learn to stand on a common ground of the understanding of the beauty that is in our diveristy. We should freely relate with one another irrespective of their culture and analyze or articulate our thoughts and ideas with mutual respect.
In essence, we should all be committed to doing something for Nigeria because indirectly we are also improving our lives and the lives of others. We can't develop Nigeria if the people are underdeveloped with no passion or drive for the future. We should not let the world move on without us...Happy 47th independence anniversary Nigerians! Think and act in a fresh way this new season. Be empowered and equiped with skills and attitude needed to serve Nigeria with all your might and a compassionate heart!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
“We are calling on the government to come to our aid...” or “we are waiting for the government to come and help us resolve this problem...” How often have you heard any of the above statements? It might have been in the news last night, or someone just murmured it in the bus you took this morning. Yes, almost everyone in likes to wait for the government for this and that. What kind of government, perhaps those that make legislations, the elected leaders of the people?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Asking another classmate what was the most precious item in her bag, she said her bible, only to whisper later there was none in her bag. Other items the rest of the discussants stated as most important in their bags include: Radio transistor- to keep entertainment going while on the go, wallet- holds cash and necessary contacts and ID card, midget- can never tell where you will meet the news, notebooks-can’t risk recopying class notes, MP3-holds important music and documents files, Digital camera-to take record of important moments etc. Although the above listed were individual’s most important items, imagine one bag carrying all of them? Now who ever carry such bag will have to stay conscious and keep the bag close 24/7 so as not to fall victim of bag snatchers…
My friend went out one day only to come back home without her bag. If the bag had been snatched by pickpockets, then the story will be easier to tell. According to her, she went to see one of her familiar stranger-friend, while they were taking a walk, he suggested to hold her bag… a little distraction and phew! Neither the bag nor the guy was any where to be found. That was how she lost her two phones, ATM card, other IDs etc. to this smart thief. Can you beat that?
Bags in the past were used to show status - the richer the person, the more elaborate the bag. What does the bag you carry say about you? You can never tell who is watching you open your bag, or who wants to make friends because of the kind of bag you carry, all the same, stay alert and keep your bag clean.
There is no denial that girls (not women) are getting pregnant. Perhaps you know someone who is struggling with the challenges of being a Teenage Mother. As you read this article, another young girl is going through depression while trying to figure out whether to tell or just opt for abortion, ignorant of the danger it holds in its clutches.
Most girls often take abortion as the easiest way to escape taking responsibility for their action. This article however is not to give statistics of the number of girls getting pregnant or start up another social debate on the right or wrong of abortion. The bottom line is, these things are happening, how can the government, you and I take charge and help tackle the issue in our society?
Tackling Teenage pregnancy should be central to government to prevent or reduce infant mortality, child poverty and other related issues in our society. Prioritize a comprehensive sex and relationship education in our school curriculum even at primary school level...catching them young is a vital key. Also, government at local level should create a welfare grant for poor teenage mothers to enable them support themselves, thus reducing poverty. Building a well resourced youth information center at all levels where well trained counselors will also be positioned to address social issues affecting the young people can easily be achieved by partnering with corporate bodies and other NGOs working with youths. Providing things to do and places to go for young people to develop themselves will keep them occupied and away from trouble!
Meanwhile, the Parents can also play their role by ensuring their home is being built on good moral values. There is also a need for modern parents to cut down on activities that compete with family time and get interested in what their children are doing in life because the fundamental development of every child has a lot to do with his family. The society also must stop the social exclusion of Teenage mothers since majority of teenagers who opt for abortion do so out of fear of what people will say! We as young people should learn to minimize activities that expose us to compromising position, in simple words... delete activities that add no value to you and avoid hanging out with the wrong crowd since all it brings is trouble.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I still do not understand why it is part of the human nature to tie so much relevance to someone's gender each time an issue is raised. During this year's international youth day conference, the facilitator asked the youth participants if they believe women will be better leaders in Nigeria...and as usual, we had a good number of the ladies shouting “yes”, a better number of the guys shouting “no”, while the quiet voice of some guys said “yes”. Now I ask, what has gender got to do with leadership role? It is not in our place to tie any sentiment to giving women responsibilities just because they are that- women.
Prof. Dora Akunyili, Dr. Okonji Iweala and Obiageli Ezekwesili to mention but a few are respectable women in Nigeria going about their business and making great impact ...but I doubt that the level they have attained is as a result of their gender. They have paid the price of developing themselves (and still doing just that to keep up-to-date) and today, they are getting the result we would all get if we do the same. It is not all about “Because they are women!”
We need to unlearn the thinking that gender have more to do with how far we go in life, if not we will find ourselves being limited and become a more grumpy generation. Millennium Development Goal 3 states: Promote Gender equality and empower women. Period. Not, from hence forth, men should become threatened because women are rising to take the lead. I do not blame my classmates for being so angry because girls are taking the lead in class, however, I hope they don't dwell on that posture of bitterness for too long and fail to study, if not, come next exam, they will still be where they are while girls keep blazing the trail!
Our society need people who are ready to take up responsibility because of their ability to tackle issues and effect change, not empty vessels lauding they should be given a chance to show what people of their gender can do! The next time you meet someone feeling intimidated by their gender or gender of others, please pass on this message, “Cheer up, life goes beyond the nature of your thingy. It is more about the stuff you are made of!”.
Monday, August 20, 2007
How about Parent abuse? Silence. Nobody is talking about parent abuse. Does it really exist? In everyone's lifetime (maybe not everyone?), there have been one or two occassions when we concoiusly or unconciously abuse our parents.
Example: when we disrespect our parents or delibrately disobey instructions they give us, this is parent abuse! There are cases where children insult and talk back rudely to their parents. Even worse, older children fight or physically maltreat their parents. Also, expecting parents to always buy the best gifts for us during our birthdays, christmas etc. and never returning such gestures is equal to parent abuse!
The calibre of people children hang out with contributes to the level of ways they abuse their parents. When some children see their peers dressed in the latest fashion, play with expensive toys and spend more money, they tend to come home and demand for more without considering their parent's capability. In cases where parents fail to meet up to their expectation, these children become resentful and bitter towards their parents, thus they start wishing someone else's parent was their parent.
In a nutshell, parent abuse occur when children abuse their space, demand for more without appreciation, rebel, disobey, insult or physically harm their parents causing them emotional pain or distress. It is imperative for every child to think well of himself and conciously adopt a positive attitude towards his parents and encourage their friends to do same.
Parents who fail to live up to their responsibility to train their children well and maintain a good parent-child relationship risk being abuse in future. Therefore, it is crucial that the 21st century parents rise above the norms, put their feet down and not spare the rod.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Is the syndrome of “young people should be seen and not heard” still in existence in this generation? Young people have valuable contributions to make to our society and must be given a voice that should be respected and incorporated into policies that affect the youths. In words of Kofi Anan, the former UN Secretary-General, a society that cuts itself from its youth serves its lifeline, but a society that engages their interest, enlists their talents and librates their energies bring hope to the entire world.
To be able to act effectively, young people need to be more sensitive to their environment and actively participate in activities that would develop their skills. Perhaps, if only the facilitator earlier mentioned had known that young people know a lot of things, he would not have restricted the young participant from sharing his views.
To let the youths be heard, we must not stop at only recognizing their freedom of speech or expression; it also includes giving them opportunities to participate in decision-making processes that affect them at all levels- home, school, government etc. and creating the forum, trust and responsibility to take action as a way of expressing their passion and dream for the future. Some youths who engage in frivolous activities such as internet scam, aristo and other delinquency do just that because they have nothing else they can engage their time fruitfully.
So much work still needs to be done in re-orientating our youths. The introduction of youth development ministry is a good way of starting up; having a youth development fund is a bonus that must be applauded. However, real action needs to be taken! Our education system needs to be refurbished, young people need to be given more opportunities to grow and have reasons to trust the government and the society they live in...
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
All over the world, young people will be organizing different events to mark this year’s international youth day. Some will be organizing rallies, others will lobby parliament, sign petition, and some will make it entertainment event with sensible message, while others will take it all to God in prayer! The theme for this year’s celebration is “Be seen, be heard: Youth Participation for development”. So what plans have you made for August 12? Being a day declared as international youth day (IYD) by UN General Assembly, it is recommended that public information activities be organized to promote better awareness of youth development issues.