It’s undeniable that Disney has animated films on lock-down. They’ve been making them for over 8 decades *cue shock* and made up majority’s childhood. Since 2015 Disney launched remakes of their most popular- and not so popular- classics, and this is expected to go on till 2020 with about 17 movies in the works.

This led to a conversation between my partner and I ; he’s a movie idealist and is totally against the idea of remakes- although he’ll still watch it, of course. He thinks this idea is a “capitalist venture built on nostalgia with the intent to manipulate audiences”

Although I agree I don’t see why that’s necessarily a bad thing. I mean, we both work in brand communication, we both know the importance of giving people what they want and people definitely want this. Lion king trailer has been released to so much excitement and reminiscence of the lines, characters, and memes. The internet is having a field day of it, the jokes are endless and feeding off of each other.

This conversation and/or argument, which he was quite passionate about – although it must be said that his passion when speaking is more felt than heard because he has a quiet force about him – was about how this will lead people away from deeper and creative movies because of their sentiments on Disney, especially the classics and new movies deserve to be appreciated better than classics that have nothing new to say.

Although, this is true, but the simple truth is people hardly care about the greater art except if its selling: love or sex. I also think Disney saw an opening for money to be made and jumped on it; fabulous idea by the way and frankly not a crime- as long as the movie doesn’t suck- I wasn’t too pleased with last year’s Beauty and the Beast. Mostly because Hermione err Emma watson was just not the right fit for bella to me.

But, more importantly I’m excited because I’m one of the many whose childhood and, let’s be honest, adulthood was influenced by Disney animations and I’ve rarely been let down.


Valentine’s Day

Yesterday was a “special” day for lovers, at least according to PR which has placed a certain pressure and expectation on people (although it can be argued that the world of social media revolves around pressure and expectations).

This isn’t a know- it-all post to tell you to love your partner everyday, not just Valentine’s, that’s just uninspired. We all want to be specially celebrated but I will say high expectations, without communication, leads to disappointment.

This morning a story was on the popular blog , instablog 9ja, about a girl who jumped off a three story building because her boyfriend didn’t get her any gift. This is a girl in university with a bright future ahead of her but she was sooo devastated, she tried to end her own life!

The back story / boyfriend’s side will come out soon enough, but the question is: Do you think she had a conversation with him on why he failed to get her anything ? Do you think she got him anything ? Do you think they talked about Valentine’s and, as it’s a week day, planned their day around it ? All these are assuming, of course, that she isn’t the side piece which would just be cruel because she obviously deeply cared.

There’s a need to discuss your preferences: grand gestures or just a cozy hangout; discuss and agree to avoid disappointment leading to resentment.

It doesn’t have to be specific because hey! A girl (or boy) still likes to be surprised but be conscious that love is a choice and should be handled with care, after all valentine is just for 24 hours and the point of love is to last a lifetime. ❤️

Breaking Point, Turning Point.

“Weeee are never, ever, ever getting back together!” is Taylor Swift’s and every heart broken person’s chant after a terrible break up. Some even turn to inspirational writers bursting with quotes on “loving myself” “level up” all in a bid to show how much they don’t care and have, in fact, moved on. But how really true is any of this?If given a chance, will you go back to your ex? Back to your old vomit, so to speak.

Some people are of the opinion that if you leave a certain person it must have been for a good reason, old things have passed away but others, that I know of, disagree with the belief that many things , not explainable to a third party, that make separation seem necessary, at first, can be rekindled by love and time apart means growth and, hopefully, a second chance.

In a situation where cheating is involved, is it OK or safe for the heart to take another dive back into the potentially dangerous sea aka romantic relationship.

Take for example a friend who was hurt when she found out her boyfriend -of about a year and a half – who’s a year ahead of her in university was cheating with his classmate; the betrayal ran even deeper when she later discovered he was also “talking” and “only” flirting with her classmate. She was, of course, angry, bitter and she every other emotion you would expect. Eventually, she ended it, good for her, but talked about it endlessly (only natural, she was heartbroken)

Fast forward a couple of months down the road, she got back with him – he had apparently “changed”. I could have warned her differently but she hid the whole reconciliation and frankly that could have been mad awkward for me. It would have made me a “bad belle” (Nigerian word for someone that doesn’t want your progress) even though we all hated him that period.

The relationship seemed steady, although I still had a few reservations but I was hopeful; albeit more reserved than hopeful. She traveled and I’m unashamed to say I hoped it will come to an end, I just didn’t get that vibe that he loved her. To me his actions screamed- He’s just not that into you- but it wasn’t my opinion that mattered. Maybe it was presumptuous of me but they say an outsider is unbiased and sees clearer but as long as she was happy, mum’s the word.

Occasionally when I checked on her I also tactfully checked on the relationship to ensure he wasn’t taking advantage. Finally, and unfortunately, the other shoe dropped, she called me , he had broken it off with her after she found out he had gone back to his classmate and had been PDAing on WhatsApp but blocked her and her friends, except one, which was a mistake of course, from viewing. Did I mention they hid their relationship so much even course mates had no idea? yeah, red flag!

Once again she had trusted him and was *gasp* betrayed. Apparently being twice bitten had given her the edge of bitterness and pain in her voice. And boy, was she pained! After all he had broken her heart TWICE I wish many things for her but at the top of my list is happiness and the grace to move on.

I know this is a story that shifts the balance but I still believe that there are other things that separate lovers which are forgivable and make them deserving of a second chance like long distance, misunderstandings from immaturity, realizing you love them, etc but I could also be wrong.

When should you panic?

There are all kinds of sayings and quotes that encourage you not to compare your life with others and even your peers. “All fingers are not equal”, a Nigerian, specifically Yoruba, quote that roughly translates to “don’t work by looking at someone else’s clock” among other cliches designed to make one live in the moment and be content with your life. BUT, regardless of all this, the question remains: when should you start panicking?

No matter how true these quotes ring, it’s human nature to worry, try to catch up with and ultimately bend to societal, peer or/ and self pressure based on the expectations and age milestones that have been set since the beginning of time. The problem with expectations is – and I say this as “uncynically”, as possible- that they almost always lead to disappointment.

In a lifetime a person usually has at least one of these thoughts, “Should I start panicking when I don’t get into school on time? or when I have carry over courses that prevent me from graduating at the expected time? Perhaps it’s the time to panic when I can’t get a job? or may be I should save my panicking for when I’m in my late 30s and unmarried? or married with no children or bless my mother’s heart, have a child out of wedlock??”

These situations definitely raise eyebrows in society and lead to unhappiness for many people and depression in some, but there’s a need to admit, and accept, that none of these things are really in your control and when they are, allow that we’re humans and sometimes just lose control.

My advise is this – it’ll be hard not to be bothered, after all how many of us can really control our mind and its thoughts and it’s even tougher to not be affected by the opinions of the people we care about. What you need is to believe that things come in their own time and the sweetest things happen, and feel even better, when you’re not expecting it. I guess my point is, it’s never the time to panic.

Improve your reading habit: New year, New book?

Looking to read more books this year? As part of your new year resolution perhaps, and don’t know where to begin? Start at the beginning! Just kidding but I almost got you, didn’t I?

However, here are a few tips that helped me get started with mine. The first thing to do is make a list of all the books you’ve been planning to read, but never got around to, and prioritize them according to how eager you are to read them. Next step is to get the books, either by downloading it, buying it online or loaning/buying it in the nearest bookstore.

Although, if you’re trying to read as many as possible and quickly too, your best bet is Ebooks, so, you can pull out your mobile device and read anywhere, any time. But if you appreciate the smell, feel and in the case of beautiful art covers of a paperback/hardcover that’s alright too, but the key is to not keep the book to read “later”. A better idea is to always keep it around you; feeling bored – pick it up, about to sleep – pick it up, waiting for someone – pick it up , commuting in public transports – pick it up. Before you know it you’re done; one down and not that many to go. If it’s a really good book, trust me, you’ll be eager for more.

If you don’t have a list but still want to improve your reading habit, that’s even better, you’ll be open to and pleasantly surprised by the great books out there. Either of these options will get you started to becoming a book worm: finding the nearest book club around you (you’ll be forced to read the recommended books so you don’t end up looking clueless in the next meeting LOL) or search online for great books with the highest ratings and reviews with no spoilers. OR do both!

Like my favorite quote by William Styron says , “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”  Good luck!

Who’s feminism really for ?

“I’m not a feminist, I support human rights”, these were the words of my female colleague yesterday. Err first of all, what???

Why do people act like feminism is at least a bad word and definitely a disease. Without any connotations, the definition of feminism, according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. What could possibly be found wrong with this ideology, more importantly as a woman, how can you not champion this term ?!

To be honest, many people don’t know the meaning of feminism but simply jump on the bandwagon for the sake of crucifying the brilliant Nigerian writer and feminism advocate, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. No, my dear just because you want a man to open the door for you, doesn’t mean you can shun the whole concept of feminism. By all means, if he’s happy to, let him get that door. Without feminism that many women, and some men, fought for centuries for, you won’t be literate and would have been considered “on the shelf” aka too old for love/ marriage at the age of 23!

The need for feminism is glaring in every aspect of life. It’s in the small things that annoy you, and if they don’t, should, when you’re at work, in school, at the club, party, with family members etc. It’s in the way you’re harassed for marriage, sexually harassed on the road and at work, told to behave a certain way because it’s feminine and “what men like” which eventually takes away your right to decide what your interests are, therefore, making you one of the endless women who disappear into their husbands, and later their children, without ever discovering their true identity.

Take for example this incident with a well meaning but provoked shuttle driver on my way home. So, I’m tired and my ulcer was giving me a bit of a hard time, ergo, minding my business on 100%. There’s a man in the bus and he was rude to the driver; they exchange words but mostly the passenger is just yelling all kinds of things but nobody else interferes. Only for the driver to go “you’re so rude, look at the way you’re talking to me. Very rude man, when you no be WOMAN, Na WOMAN dey talk like that.” *insert meme face* Ahan, see me see trouble. The statement, reasonably, ticked me off. I’m not going to take that sitting down, there’s no reason for women to be insulted, we’ve done nothing to deserve it, after all, there were women in the bus who weren’t rude to him, there were even men who weren’t rude- just that one guy! And so I reply the driver because the passenger had reached his bus stop and was walking away already.

“Sooo (in typical Nigerian I’m about to challenge you fashion), he’s rude for talking to you that way but you don’t think that statement you just made is rude to women?” The mood in the bus immediately changed, I can tell he feels bad now because he gets quiet but I press on or how else will he really learn? ” Why did you have to bring women into it, you don’t think that’s offensive?” At this point, he apologizes while the rest of the passengers were still silent, so I let him ponder that and went quiet again. This driver is probably a nice guy -to his friends- who’s used to tagging women with pettiness, rudeness and if in any altercation with a woman would have been quick to call her “ashewo” because, of course, a woman who can dare to exchange words with a man and have money or drive a car must be a prostitute. How dare she be a hardworker, struggling in Lagos traffic, “like a man” and not be in a kitchen somewhere!

I’ve been in different situations of this sort, many of which, I’m ashamed to say that I said nothing. I simply took it as one of those things that society condones and will make you seem like a trouble maker, but if no one speaks up then how will things change. So tell me again that you haven’t been through situations like this before; where your only crime is being female and you’re called “emotional” or “hormonal” and frankly taken advantage of. Society condescends to women or attributes pettiness to women not, usually, because of the particular actions of a woman but traits that a man is displaying that “makes” him a woman.

Do you want to know the most baffling thing about these people that detest “feminists” because of Chimamanda Adichie? They’ve not read a single book of hers, probably don’t read at all ( which is sad for this write-up). They’ve probably seen one or two interviews cut out of context and placed on social media and this of course makes them experts. This makes women desperate to be noticed by men and eager not to be seen as “difficult” or “stubborn” to immediately renounce everything feminism.

One last thing, I want feminism not for women, although that’s very important, but for men. Your partner should be exactly that, a partner . Not a simpering girl who you have to provide EVERYTHING for and still deal with her superficial insecurities. Maybe if so much responsibility wasn’t dubbed with “being a MAN” many men won’t be so depressed and struggling without daring to show emotions so they aren’t seen as “weak” or called a woman.

How far is too far for the sake of survival?

My colleague lives in my estate and so, kindly, gives me a ride to work every week. We talk about many things in the car, after all its a 45 minute drive, plus traffic,and I’m a talkative.

On the first few days I was happy to sit quietly and occupy myself with reading a book. This was 3 months ago but he just wouldn’t let me read in peace, bringing up one subject or the other until I dropped my phone to give him my full attention – after all he was saving me money and the stress of public transport *eye roll*.

Since then we’ve chatted about different topics from relationships to family to, as the topic was today, the turns life takes. I admit that I’m idealistic and he’s a bit of a cynic but then he has seen much of the harsh world and he’s only in his middle 30s.

In the first week of our drive, we were discussing the word, with so much finality, “Never” and he was adamant on never saying never and I thought, and said, if you don’t hold yourself to certain standards, i.e by saying: “I would never do this” then what’s to stop you from doing them. Good point, yes? But he was convinced that when it comes right down to survival; literal do or die, you’ll do your “nevers” over and over and over again.

His statement, this statement, made me open my mind and just made me feel so sad and majorly empathetic. The thought of sacrificing your dignity, pride and basically yourself; doing things you’d rather not, actions that kill you inside, solely for the sake of survival; to be fed, clothed, sheltered can be so mind boggling. Nobody is really fully ignorant these days, the media – both traditional and social media has shined a light on how much suffering there is.

My father’s favorite saying when i was a child is “Ti ebi ba pa Sule, Sule a j’obo”, a Yoruba proverb which literally translates to “when Sule is starving, Sule will eat a monkey”. As a child, this just sounded funny to me but now it rings so true, it’s deafening.

Many people go through a lot of hardships our sheltered minds can not begin to comprehend. On the one hand, I want to be exposed to these people for the sake of helping or at the very least provide reassurance that nothing lasts forever but at the same time I’m selfish enough to want to avoid being disillusioned and fully embracing how much pain and suffering there is.

To those doing WHATEVER to survive, especially the things your young, naive mind believed you’ll never do, just know, because it is a surety, that it won’t last forever. That break, you’re so desperate for, is coming as sure as the fact that nothing lasts forever.

The key(s) to Living in the moment

You might be wondering why there’s a need for a key to live in the moment and why you can’t just simply live in the moment. The fact is many people have a problem relaxing and basking in the joys of their lives.

Over worrying, Self doubt to the extent of doubting your own emotions, anxiety bordering on self sabotage might be a strong symptom that you need this.

They are the things beyond your control you need to be let go of before they steal your happiness and these keys will help you to achieve this.

Every time you feel yourself overthinking or worrying, simply use this 3 keys to unlock the path of happiness:

  1. Take a moment to close your eyes and, like Ariana grande wisely sang, just keep breathing and breathing and breathing.
  2. Actively think of every thing and one around you that put a smile on your face and just quietly count your blessings (name them one by one).
  3. Identify your main worry; trace the root of the worry and categorize them into “done my best” or “I can do better”. If it falls into ” I can do better” category then do exactly that, BETTER.

On the other hand, if you’ve done your best , try to mentally let go and acknowledge your efforts in order to move on to the next.

The truth is the key to less worrying is letting go (breaks into Idina Menzel let it go) of your tightly held self pressure. You’re exactly where you need to be and the only thing that worrying will get you is wrinkles!