Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Sophisticated Sophelia Goes against the Grain

Gone Against the Grain

I’m such a huge advocate for being fearlessly yourself and embracing our individuality. Why you ask?... Well let me ask you this, why do we need to be like someone else? Why do we all have to be the same? If you’re unable to answer that question, that is exactly it, it’s because we’re not meant to be the Joe next door but the person we were born to be.

I believe life is like one big puzzle and each of us are the pieces that make up the picture. Each of us are created and shaped for a particular place in this puzzle. We are born and destined with a purpose. But how can we fulfil our purpose when we are trying to be like each other and “fit” in because we want to be able to feel like ‘we belong’. For half my life I felt the same way, I wanted to fit in and feel like I belonged to a particular group or arena to the point where I altered my character, personality and even the way I dressed just to be accepted amongst “friends”.

One day I became tired of pretending, tired of being someone I’m not and having to suppress the person I knew I was becoming.  That day was the lightening that struck the tree. I chose to no longer care what people thought of me and worry about their judgements, I just wanted to be… Me. Me-Sophelia. Me –the person that never stops dancing. Me – the energetic, bubbly person with the quirky style. Me – the person who is meant to be the best version of myself and not the best version of Jane, Lauren or Sue.

I came to realise how we are continually force fed the idea that we need to aspire to this so called unrealistic “ideal person”, through media, magazines, adverts and even expectations of others that demands us to feel like being us is not good enough or it’s not ok to be our self. Well, let me tell you something – It’s more than ok to be you. I’m sorry but, ‘why be someone else when you were born amazing?’ Through all this encouragement to self-condemn I realised how important it is to proudly accept who we are and understand that we should be our self, embrace our individuality and how important it is to become your best self so we can find and fulfil our purpose.

Through this long thought provoking and riveting journey the road lead me to where I am right now, starting my brand and blog- ‘Gone Against the Grain’, encouraging people to simply and solely be themselves and PROUD. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life, to help people who want to be themselves and find their purpose.

Being an individual isn’t about being an out-cast or “different” or odd but about creating a league of your own and breaking boundaries. We were all uniquely made and the reason is in our life’s purpose. I believe life is like one big puzzle and each of us are the pieces that make up the picture. Where do you fit in?

I’ve’ gone against the grain, you can too.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Redebonyhotspots savers and property column

Money talks when no one is listening, but we rarely pay attention to such demands as save, invest, pool your money, market your brand, till your capital grows, and let your money work for you. It's easy to get caught up in all the special offers, budget buys, buy one get one frees, discount and sales, yet what their cleverly asking you to do is to lessen your chance of becoming an investor. Investors acquire capital. Money magnetized to them because they invest in assets and commodities, rather than funding liabilities. Liabilities will blind side you with great campaigns, the car your friends have, the house you paid for which bills are accruing more debt, yet rather than leading out some rooms to bring in an income, you've packed it with ornaments so your next door neighbours can keep aweing at what a designers touch you have. How much is it costing you to keep up with the Jones's. When was the last time your pocket pleaded with you to start saving up? Well, I'm starting this challenge with you, this is the international piggy bank of savers ideas for those of us who have a habbit of saying goodbye to spare change. Change that would have transformed itself to capital. Join me for ideas, tips, and tricks as we save our way to the top!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Guest post by Francis Etuko:Noise in Nigeria

By Francis Etuko

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Comittee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Hon Adeyinka  Ajayi has corrected the perception that the legislative arm of government is against borrowing.
Speaking during an interactive session to consider States borrowing requests under the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan at the National Assembly, Hon Ajayi said nothing could be further from the truth as borrowing is an essential tool in a nation's finance architecture.
His words "permit me at this point to correct the erroneous perception that the legislature is borrowing avers".
" Nothing could be further from the truth, parliament is indeed aware that borrowing is an essential, if not unavoidable tool in a nations public finance architecture and is required for rapid and sustainable development" he said.
He also stressed thus " A situation where a nation borrows for consumption or recurrent expenditure at the detriment of long term infrastructural or institution  building investments and where debt services figures begin to rise greatly, eating deep into the nations available resources in its budgetary allocation is unhealthy and therefore unacceptable"
Wednesday's interaction became necessary following the request  from the Acting President,  Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, on the 25th of May 2017 asking the House to separate States projects from items listed in the earlier submitted 2016-2018 external borrowing requests plan, with a view to giving the states requests accelerated consideration.
Hon Ajayi reminded those at the session that the request of the Acting President was in compliance with the provisions of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act, 2003 and the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 which both enjoins the President to lay before the National Assembly its external borrowing plan for approval pursuant to the powers conferred on the national assembly under items 7 and 50 of part 1 of the second schedule of the of the constitution 1999  as amended.
The committee began its scrutiny with the Ebonyi state which intends to obtain from the African Development Bank, ADB and the Islamic Bank a loan facility of 150 million dollars which will be taken in tranches of 80 and 70 million dollars from the two institutions and is to be spent on developing road infrastructure in Ebonyi state.
The Deputy Governor of Ebonyi state,  Mr Kelechi Igwe who represented his state said the state has put in place a very robust structure to ensure the repayment of the loan facility.
This he stressed was in the proper tolling of roads which the state would vigorously pursue to ensure that the facility it is seeking is repaid.
his words " We believe that the roads we are building in Ebonyi state will have a life span of 30 to 50 years".
Igwe told the committee that Ebonyi is an agrarian state and has made an example in agriculture with the production of rice which stands the state out in Nigeria.
He said " In Ebonyi state the  sum of 2 billion naira was injected by the state into rice production and within 9 months it realises 4 billion which has been reinvested into  the states economy".
Present at the session were other members of the committee, the chairman of the Senate committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, representatives of the Debt Management office, Abubakar Sani and Maimuna Ibrahim, The country Director of the French Development Agency Olivier Delefosse.

Friday, 14 July 2017

The decision to dream

It is not hopeless to dream or admire the qualities of others. Some people have contempt for brilliance, but it was the creativity of individuals that helped communities and the global network to stand with distinction. Take pride in your abilities, take pride in your self and your purpose. You are on an adventure. The world may throw sands at your flames, yet you will burn still, and pine for such things that a narrow mind cannot fathom. It is the genius of vision, the power of perception and the acute ability to use intuition to gage audiences. People may offer you a reality check, cash it in, for what's real is based upon the minds perception, what makes change is our ability to maintain momentum when being fuelled on the journey. It is easy to abolish a dream for a safe system, watch it die, and perish beyond a sin. Yet when we wake from the slumber of other people's perceptions, we begin to abstract ourselves from the circus others have created for us. Your brain is the most powerful multi functional computer in the world, your mind and soul function with a balanced soul. You will thrive when you are in the process of being, doing, and seeing more. We are a hungry canvas, we are starved wolves lurking for missing sheep, we lick our lips salivating upon the wants of others, consuming their energy as oxygen. Your mind  needs to fill it's own skin, it is bone, and without the flesh of literature, we are birds trapped within a cage. It will not be easy. Fear will point a finger and you will hold on to reckless abandonment, others will judge, and you may put a price tag upon your own head. Labelling yourself, and collecting a season of woes. Journeys are not instant triumph. Hyena's laugh a jekylled trumpet, most clouds our vision, and we are as lost particles floating in the wind.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Rivers of change: Spirit is listening

Real wisdom, intelligence should leave an imprint. When you communicate you want to be remembered for not just how expansive your vocabulary is, but the density of the words impacting the soul of the listener. I was thinking today about greatness and the people we listen too, not the know it all's, but those who have a snippet of our experiences. Those who can connect. Talk is cheap because time is so expensive and yet, it is a priceless thing some conversations. We wish we could rewind back in time and have them all over again, they are like song in our eardrums. We like the company of the person talking and the advice they give. The right conversation can sell a book, a brand, an album, an individual, so speak to yourself. Speak to all the bruised areas of your soul that cannot be cleansed by mild conversation. Talk to self esteem, self love, motivation fighting spirit,challenge denial. Speak to growth, and just keep on talking, spirit is listening, so you must speak. Speak rivers of positive productive change.

Explorations of the self

Illusions of perfection are a seduction. There is an ease to which the world suggests who we should become. Through mass media, through social media, ever since globalisation and modernity.we watch these characters through the tv sets, hear invisible rules through the radio, flicker photoshopped images from glossy magazines. Yet here it is in a nutshell, a perfect thought in its embodiment. We are a soul and develop into a self, we are only being the best version of ourselves we can be, from that time, with that learning, and the things we have access too. If you listen to a society that tells you your not good enough, you will become a slurred sentence that is drunk on not good enough. Everybody wants to be the best on a superficial level, have nice houses, nice cars, claim nice things. You are a stone that is being polished, a rock that is being shaped, you will evolve into something brilliant, blessed and bright. Believe in who you are meant to be, not who society tells you you are. We are a variation of flawed selves, we are selves that need to be explored.

Defeminisation of a woman: A truth

So everyday for about two or three years I was the object of a hate campaign by the local neighbourhood idiots. They systematically tried to break me down and destroy my spirit. They were a mix of guys and girls, headed by a grown woman whose mental health spiralled completely out of control. It was done so cleverly when i called on family and friends for support people didn't believe me, because of the series of games played by this brand of looser. Every single one of them had problems from Jail time, racism, misogyny, jealousy, and self loathing. I was targeted for three things being an alpha female, black, and intelligent.I was called a whore along the streets, a slut, a NIgga, I was called ugly, a man. What disgusted me was the family who started this were black, they would call me NIgga around their white friends, and Asian friends. I remember the mother being outside and saying to an Asian girl, " who does she think she is , she's nothing but a NIgga."

When I was younger I had a crush on her son, mostly because he appeared to be interested in me, he'd follow me around in his car, ask family members suspicious questions about me, he even went as far as calling my mobile phone. He's fair skinned and I'm dark skinned. Yet when I openly wrote him a letter of affection, he used this to try and humiliate my whole family. I became his running comedy sketch, but something interesting happened when I started dating other guys. That's when the cruelty and the bullying started, when his mother would start spreading malicious rumours throughout the neighbourhood that I was crazy, masculine, slept around, mothers should keep their sons away from me. His sister who was obese, loud, just as cruel as the rest of the family would bring a group of her friends into the back garden and announce loud enough to hear that everybody hated me. This abuse and harassment was done despite knowing that I had a disability, they would chant things such as 'have a fit!have a fit! " and run out of the house giggling. This was done systematically every morning, for more than two years, the oldest son would announce " that I was a prostitute who deserved to get raped."

I call this article the defeminisation of a woman because, in my area, to my family I'd always been seen as a strong character. It took all of these people to do this to me in the nook where I grew up, and nobody said anything. Nobody uttered a word. There were defenses used like "she is a man, and she gets everything." I had done nothing cruel to these people except, when challenged speak up for myself. All these things were strategically done when I was isolated, never when I was with my brothers, never when I was with my father. I find it interesting how the people who did this to me I rarely see them on the street the same time as me, yet I hear their rants and their cruel commentary. people who are going nowhere want to drag you down with them, and when their trying to sabotage your future, they want it to be their sick little secret. They'll want to bring you in as part of the 'gang' to destroy someone else, they'll make you believe that your normal and the person your targeting is different,  the guy who did this to me would consistently announce that he was having a joke.' I'm messing around,' he'd say to his friends, but everyone knew his tone was laced with venom.The jokes got crueler when he started mixing with people who everyone knew for having a bad past. Never let anybody steal your sense of identity.
Your self belief , the confidence you took years to build up. Your knowledge base, and when people don't speak out against what's wrong that's not community, that's a circle of cowards.