Wednesday, 22 June 2016

HELP PROTECT OUR CHILDREN!!!

by Rita Oziegbe

It seems having carnal knowledge of little children has become the order of the day. The devil has taken toll of the heart of men, when I say MEN, I don’t necessarily mean MALES but both male and female alike. There are a lot of evil going on in our days, but do we allow the children live with them without our protection and guidance?..... I guess your answer is as good as mine… hell NO!!!  You may want to deny the fact that these things happen or reject the possibility of it happening to your child but the truth remains that THEY HAPPEN! Now don’t be blinded to think that it only happens to female children, even the boys get sexually abused too….. Surprised?... Don’t be.
For those of us who think sexual abuse only has to do with penetration with penis , fingers  or objects, we are wrong because it involves a whole others such as;
Exposing sexual materials or genitals to a child
Touching/ kissing/fondling of genitals and other areas of the body.
Asking a child to touch their own genitals or another person’s.
Talking explicitly, graphically, inappropriately, graphically about sex to a child.
Forced and non- forced sex with an under-aged child.
With all these, how then do we protect them from being vulnerable?...  We begin by not feeding them with lies or myths about sexual abuses. I say this because many parents in trying to deny the reality of these things happening or in their confusion on how to present it to the children, tend to paint the wrong picture to their children. They forget that if they do not tell the children the real truth about the subject, outsiders would and maybe the wrong side of it all. Some believe teaching children about sexual abuses scare them, therefore they think it is best to go mute about it. This is also wrong as the better informed our children are about the happenings around them, the better prepared and protected they are.
Don’t make your children believe that these things happen in only families with problems or broken homes and that they are safe because your own family is a “normal one”, therefore such can’t happen to them. If they are safe within does that imply that they are also safe outside your home. Remember many of the reported cases are perpetrated by members of the family or relatives. It could be their uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins and even by their parents.  Make them also to understand that not only girls can be abused. Yes, as strange as it might sound, boys can be abused too. Make efforts to teach your sons how to protect themselves also. And it is not only men that abuse or rape children because women are also being used as the devil’s instrument in this case. Do not fool them by saying it is only improperly dressed girls get abused because even those in flowing gowns are abused too.

Teach your children the right name for their body part even if it is their private parts else someone will teach them and also touch it for them. Let them know the difference between “safe”,” unsafe” and “unwanted” touch and no matter who does the touching, they should be able to say a big NO when it is unsafe and unwanted. They should also say the NO when they are asked to involve in any kind of sexual activity without fear or favour.  Build a good relationship with your children as this will help them in telling you anything without keeping secrets. Watch out for danger signs in adult and those that your children might be giving you indirectly about an adult or anyone around them. Control their access to the internet and other media usage as this would help you keep a check on the kind of thing that they are exposed to.  At the worst cases, they should scream for help, run and tell anyone that can help.

Friday, 10 June 2016

“OURS TO PLOUGH AND NOT TO PLUNDER”

by Rita Oziegbe

“This earth is
Ours to work not to waste
Ours to man not to main
This earth is ours to plough, not to plunder”




This very last verse of Niyi Osundare’s poem “Ours to plough and not to plunder” during my secondary school days kept ringing in my head as I rode to work thinking of my beloved country, its many riches and the irony of what it has become today. Mother Earth is forced to drink the blood of her children, her beautiful clothes of rich green grasses and trees of various kinds with sweet smelling flowers has turned into rags from oil spills, refuse dumps, decomposing corpse, flood and the numerous destruction from the various bombing activities of different  groups.
Why do we bring so much shame to her, why do we turn ourselves who are her children into instruments of her pain. Even God himself weeps at the sight of what she has become. Nigeria, we used to be Africa’s pride, her giant, her beauty, her glory…… Where are these now... All of them, we have traded and for what? Greed, pride and covetousness. Our home land which is supposed to provide refuge and succor has turned into large mouths of scary pits that swallow us. Did I hear you ask “where are the elders?”……. Of course we have them, but they themselves are the reason for our downfall. They were to lead us to greatness but instead they lead us to perdition, they were to guide us but they seem confused themselves, they were to care for us but they neglect us, caring for themselves and their pockets. The youths they say are the leaders of tomorrow but they have turned us into thugs, thieves, assassins and all sorts of evil machineries.

God have mercy! For our beloved land weeps, she begs for restoration of all her lost glories, she begs us to put a smile back on her face. Stop the killing for the lives we have lost can never be regained. Stop the oil spills for Mother Earth longs to be adorned once again with flowers and rich vegetation. Stop the bombing for it is taking us no where rather we are retrogressing as a nation. STOP! STOP!! STOP!!!........ THIS EARTH IS OURS TO PLOUGH AND NOT TO PLUNDER!!!!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN CHILDREN'S EDUCATION

by Rita Oziegbe

Being a parent, makes you the child’s first and most important teacher. The importance of the involvement of parents, family and care takers in children’s education cannot be overemphasized as the children do better, achieve more in school and feel better about their schooling. When we talk about parent’s involvement, we don’t just mean the paying of their school fees, buying of their school materials, participating in school meetings and raising funds for the school, it involves the active engagement with the child’s learning at home and at school.
No thanks to the global economic meltdown with everyone trying to make ends meet, both parents leave home very early in the morning and come home almost when the children are asleep, tired out and going straight to bed only to continue the same cycle the next day. During the weekends that parents should spend time with their children, they find themselves involved in other activities such as town meetings, club meeting and religious gatherings. Not that these are bad in themselves but that the future of those whom we claim to be doing them for, is sacrificed. With these, it is clear that more is expected of the parents if we are to be actively engaged in the children’s learning.
 How then do we get started?... The following are some helpful tips;
Create a form of partnership with your child’s teachers and school staff. Meet your child’s teacher and make it known that you are interested in helping your child learn, find out the areas your child is having problems and discuss how it can be solved. Let the teacher know that he/she is free to get in touch with you should your child develop any other problem. Get to know other people who help in your child’s learning  since there are many other people involve in the day to day running f the school activities and be able to control how they affect your child’s learning. If the English language they use in school is what scares you, then you can get an interpreter while you use your local language or one you are comfortable with to communicate your concerns.
Don’t just leave the rest to the teacher but take a step further by supporting your child’s learning at home. Make out time to help with their homework or other school related activities, don’t do their homework for them for it will not help them on the long run, encourage them to  use the media effectively, discuss educational issues with the child, talk with the child and find out his/her areas of difficulties and offer help in terms of advice on how these difficulties can be addressed, encourage them to read and use the library but you can make it more fun by participating in some reading exercises with them. Monitor the child’s usage of the television, video games and the internet and above all; demonstrate a strong positive attitude about education to your children because they look up to you as a role model.
Engage in a kind of follow up on your child’s performance in school, get special services if your child needs one, help the child prepare for test and examinations and get to review the child’s report card each time it comes out. Your not being learned is not an excuse, you can involve other family members who are educated or get help from educated people around you. Ensure that your children attend school regularly as this also help in their performance. All these and more might seem tasking but WORTHWHILE. May God bless all the efforts we make towards our children’s success in life.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

SKIN BLEACHING.......



by Rita Oziegbe
Growing up as a child, I disliked a neighbor who had a young wife. My reason was because he was a bad man to have hit his wife in the face so hard as to give her those dark patches by the side of both eyes that wouldn’t just go. I remember those patches now as an adult as I see them on other faces…don’t think I am naive as to think that they were also caused by the beatings these individuals have received. I was a child then, now I know better that those big dark patches are the effects of the constant use of bleaching creams. Sometimes I begin to wonder if aliens have not invaded our earth because we now have a lot of people with a rainbow skin:- white face with dark patches, red, yellow, green, purple, blue veins all visible on their body and especially on their faces.
Now let’s see; what is skin beaching, what are some of its effect and the contents we should look out for when we go out there to buy body creams/lotions? Skin bleaching is the practice of using chemicals substances in order to lighten skin tone or produce an even skin complexion by reducing the melanin concentration in the skin. What is melanin, you say?... Melanin is a substance in the skin that causes pigmentation. It helps in the absorption of some of the dangerous ultraviolet radiation (UV) in sunlight. It also has DNA repair enzymes that helps in reversing UV damage, therefore people who lack the genes for these enzymes suffer very high rate of skin cancer.
Many people tend to forget or may not know that the skin is the largest organ in human system and plays an important role in protecting the body against pathogens and excess loss of water. Other functions include; insulation, temperature regulation, synthesis of vitamin D, the protection of vitamin B foliate and sensation. In their desire to look like the whites who in many ways want to look like them by tanning, they damage their skin by using all sorts of chemical, some even go as far as mixing hair relaxers and hypo bleach into their body creams. Don’t scream, it’s the truth... Everyone wants to look like “oyibo” forgetting that as Africans, God in His wisdom knows what He is doing. We want to outsmart Him, but we surely will pay the price.
The effects of skin bleaching are dangerous and cannot be overlooked. For those of us who still want to look the way God made us and not like ghosts, do not buy any body cream containing hydroquinone and if you must use them, it should not be above 2%. Also look out for arbutin which is a natural source of the later, kojic acid which scientist say may have carcinogenic properties in large doses and causes allergic contact dermatitis, mercury, ellagic acid, ferulic acid, licorice extract and certain fruit extract that bleaches the skin. In a nutshell dear friends, stay NATURAL, stay BEAUTIFUL, stay HEALTHY and stay ALIVE!!!
source(Wikipedia)                                                 






Tuesday, 17 May 2016

YOU IGNORE, YOUR BAD....

YOU IGNORE , YOUR BAD..

It’s no news that the climate is changing. There are seasonal shifts as the dry and raining season don’t come as at when we usually expect them. When they finally do, the intensity is alarming. The sun is so hot these days that you feel its rays sting you on the skin. Even the early morning sun which doctors say is healthy, am afraid might no longer be. When it does rain, my goodness!........ everywhere becomes flooded and refuses to dry up. Findings shows that the world has warmed by 0.8 degree Celsius since pre-industrial times and recently scientists carrying out research on global warming have predicted that average global temperatures could increase between 1.4 and 5.8 degree Celsius by the year 2100. Isn’t that scary???...........
The horror is not just the harshness of the sun on our skin and subsequent damages but the fact that it would have major and unpredictable effects on the world’s water systems, there would be severe weather events and extreme weather conditions which would adversely affect farming and agriculture; a source of food supply and livelihood for more than half of the global population. I wonder how we would survive by then. To think that almost everyone in Naija has “ I beta pass my neighbor” (generator set) which produces fumes as dark as those we see in movies when the devil wants to appear and we are busy cutting down every little plant/tree all in the name of clearing and space hunting for buildings, yet we do nothing to correct the situation.

 It is not enough buying / applying all the creams with sunscreen, sun umbrella, sun canopy and what have you………..lols…….. Let’s get busy planting trees, reduce our rate of generator usage; of course that would be when the government does something about the power sector to improve the mass electrical consumption and if you can afford it, get other sources of generating electricity.


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

YOU NEED THESE!

by Rita Oziegbe 

A tree cannot make a forest they say because the beauty of the forest lies in the varieties of the plants and how they co-exist. In the same vein, an individual cannot make a family, an organization or a society. The ability to work together towards the achievement of a common goal as a people can never be ruled out in human existence neither can its effect be ignored in our daily lives. This could be attributed to the possession of certain skills by humans and one of such is the SOFT SKILLS. One would begin to wonder, “What are soft skills?”…….. Don’t get so curious, I’ll tell you.
Soft skills are characters, traits, and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationship with others. They are the abilities to recognize and manage our own and other’s emotions. It also includes how we organize and how we approach life. Did I hear you say “What has it got to do with family, organization and the society?”…………… Of course it does have a lot to do with these units, every family unit has a common interest and goal/s and so does every organizational workplace, groups and society. Each unit is made up of more than one individual and each individual have their own emotions. The ability to manage your own emotion as a part of the unit and that of the other members will go a long way to determine the success of one’s family, the organization in which you work and the society you belong.


Now what are some of these soft skills? They include; communication skills, teamwork and collaboration, adaptability/flexibility, problem solving, critical observation, conflict resolution, dependability, personal habits, leadership traits, conscientiousness, creativity, self motivation, accepting responsibility, optimism, commitment, coaching and mentoring, sense of humour, good decision making, empathy, diplomacy and respectfulness, common sense, good manners, time management and ability to work under pressure, when to speak, listen and suggest a compromise and many more.

They are important because they are one’s unique selling point and give you a competitive edge in the workplace, in the family and perhaps in life. They are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person’s occupational skills and knowledge. You can simply put, they make your hard skills glow. Although most of these skills are innate, some can be learnt and boosted over time to give you an upper hand on a job/ promotion, other areas of your life and in the society at large.