Our biases in ASSUMPTION and ACCEPTANCE of other people!


ste picJust one look. A glimpse. A glance. A peek. And our imagination starts running wild. If possible, our   interpretation and perception of what is placed on our laps is now portrayed as a footstool for appraisal. For every one of us, at least there’s been a moment or two of intolerant and superficial judging. And within another degree, it is transformed into a battlefield of suspicion or dislike.

Imagine THIS: It is Monday morning, you are at the gas station, minding your own business and a certain hype outrageously-clothed lady walks up to you, all the essence of her womanhood displayed in parade soliciting. She looked you over and smiled over her loud popping bubble gum now stained with her red lipstick and asked for directions! What comes to your mind immediately? Did you quickly tighten the hold on your wallet or just quickly labeled her?

Imagine THAT: On a Friday evening, by the entrance of a coffee shop is a young man in dirty tattered over-size jeans, his grey shirt, dirty with missing buttons, probably due to an organized gang-fight or survival on the street, his exposed chest crowded and begging for a visit to any available hygiene-clinic, there’s a strong rancid odor around him, he’s probably a homeless retard on drugs or struggling to get off it. He approaches you with his arms spread out, toothless smile and looking lost! Money? Food? Or a friendly hug? He’s looking at you questioningly…What Do You Do?

We have all been there. Our devoted posture of Immaculacy, Pureness and Self-righteousness. We give a first look at someone we assume to be not of the benchmark and immediately we set a guard around ourselves and step up with a higher approach of self dis-favor.

Sometimes, even so spiritual as thanking God for not being in that person’s shoes. But really… if anything and we are sincere with ourselves, we are truly the ones with the issue of intolerance, prejudice and unfairness. Not the other party. Why? ‘Like they know any better? That’s why they are more approachable, even during their storm!

Stereotyping leads to racial prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of a group, ascribe characteristics to members of that group, and then evaluate those characteristics. It reflects expectations and beliefs about the characteristics of members of groups perceived as different from one’s own, prejudice represents the emotional response, and discrimination refers to actions.

So, there’s a proverb about judging people I grew up with, from my Mother’s hometown of Delta State – (in her Ebu language): “We are ever aware and mindful of people we think we know and love, but we can never be sure of other people or a stranger’s love or feelings for us” – and till now, She will reminiscence and still talk about the importance of accepting and loving a stranger in distress – because you can never tell their story, until you are told.

But because my first visit to the shelter required me reading books and watching documentary on teenagers with stories of life on the streets, sex addiction, graffiti etc. That prepared me and took away all that was supposed to send me running back to my car or to a pity party zone. What’s inside the minds of the people we ‘hang and dismiss” is deeper and commanding than we can ever imagine. Their stories changes with a look at their heart.

Their acceptance to recovery and salvation is far genuine compared to an everyday God fearing believer. Because they have wounds that are already open for all to see. What else is there to hide? Just a word of assurance, a term that defines their past, a hug that could be cold outwardly, yet comforting inside, a bible verse that could pretentiously be ignored while you’re there, but a remedy at night when crisis begins. A firm hand shake rather than a scrutinizing look of disgust, repulsion and antipathy. Stereotype keeps people from processing new or unexpected information about each individual, thus biasing the impression formation process.

Today, I am encouraging someone to reach out of their standard! to approach and love a stranger without boundary! Instead of loving the person and hating the sin, we treat people out of our norm as not worthy of our love or God’s love. We apply our morals to their lives and fight against their freedoms because of our beliefs. How else will they know our God? If not through our works!

May God help us all!


“Who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.” These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.

Isaiah 65:5



Friday Night Conversation with ‘Yinka! – Collection of Short Stories (Terms of Endearment – Part One)

 It is another FRIDAY night, Yippee! ‘Do I hear jubilation bells? I am done dancing off-tune to Pharrell’s “HAPPY” at Zumba class tonight and preparing to hang out with the kids, while a-toddler I know with a distinctive contagious laughter, will exercise her cuteness-power and bully us all into watching “Frozen” again for the 37th time in history!

Anyway, If you are reading this, you’re probably spending your Friday night indoor or on your way out! But definitely not captured and forced to watch Frozen with a bunch of excited kids matching up with the movie word-for-word. But! Alas, Friday night conversation continues with my short story on the power of attachment. Enjoy!

Terms of Endearment – Part One.

Omolara! Omolara! ‘Are you listening to me? What’s wrong with you?

Omolara is not even aware of her mother speaking to her. She is still excited and day dreaming. The news about her admission into a University couldn’t have come at a better time in her life. She’d just discovered some strange things about her step sister Yanju, frightened and confused because she was afraid she was getting too close to her Father’s personal assistant and needed to be far away from everyone. What made it even more joyous was the fact that she will be going out of Lagos to school, no one had to know that she’d secretly paid her father’s driver, Baba Sanni to help process and re-direct her admission from University of Lagos to Port Harcourt. From stories of bewilderment she’s heard from her cousins, she knew Port Harcourt was just the place for her! She just couldn’t wait to hit the Garden City!

She grew up within the four corners of the affluence of Ikoyi’s Glover road and Alexandra Avenue, then travelled further down across the bridge to AIS for High school. Her life has always been surrounded by all the beautiful things only good money could buy. It is always within the same crowd of people who goes to the same school, same church, same club house and the same social event and discuss the same thing! boastful talk on power, celebrity gossips on who’s who, who’s wearing the latest from Tiffany’s, Family houses in UK, Father’s Swiss account and Mother’s trip to a newly acquired company in Switzerland. All always stuck up, snobbish and arrogant.

Hanging around them is always a foreign lady as their maid, sometimes addressed as “Ms. Pino or Ms. Dino” either carrying their leisure 100% genuine leather Prada or Gucci bag or rushing to the bar to get them a refill of another chilled Chapman. Omolara never enjoyed any of this. No privacy! Well, except when she’s whisked away for summer vacation via first class on British Caledonian airline where she’s allowed to mix with her schoolmates on board. All chatting away noisily in that “spoilt rich kid” attitude. Pulling in all the “r” and ‘o” in their conversation, automatically changing their accents while their phonemes is replaced by a defect in their sinus, rolling their eye and faking exaggeration of awareness, even though their plane still hasn’t taken off the soil of their mother tongue. Hmm!

So, it is all the way to Port Harcourt to live with her 3 cousins (from her mother’s side of the family) who were already in the College of Technology and School of Education. Straight from the airport, she was taken to the boys quarters of a main building with a well-manicured lawn that belonged to a Professor Harrison. In this cave-like 4×4 flushed painted room, were two well-used mattresses spread out on the terrazzo floor with a cheap blue bed sheet that’s probably seen better days due to constant washing with a local hand soap, and there it was, still struggling to cover the edges of the foam. Suitcases dragged to one corner and a make shift table with piles of empty boxes in the middle of the room.

“Where exactly will I be sleeping? – Omolara rolled her eyes and turned to Ayibari, her younger cousin who was now pretending to be fidgeting with her bag. “Well, Lara, hmmm, the thing is that, Ovie is not always…

To Be Continued…

Yinka 🙂

Do you dislike POETRY? Maybe you are afraid of falling in LOVE!


Poetry is an expressive, rhythmic literary work or verse. Writing and reading love poetry is a way to get in touch with your inner feelings about the emotions of loving and being loved. Love poetry spans emotions from hate and despair to admiration and adulation. The misconception about it is that Love poetry is not only for “lovers” but speaks to anyone who has experienced the desire to be loved… that is it speaks to everyone. Happy or Sad. It is an outward reflection of the battle of emotions. We feel it, we peel it and then we release our thoughts, through words either spoken or written.

Each and every one of us is a poet. Our mode of expression and choice of words is what sets us apart. We are pregnant with build-up unexpressive emotions and so afraid of delivering what we have inside.

Poetry-unspoken is born when we hear the first cry of a new baby, when we give that adoring and compassionate look at someone we love, when flowers bloom and we are brave enough to smell them, when the sound of birds chirping away become a melody, when aroma from grandma’s kitchen reminds you of endurance, when lingering perfume of a lover arrests your attention, when pictures of a departed loved one inspire you to win a cause, It is a sign of love that is as clear as when you look into a mirror, and as an image that exposes your feelings. It comes to you because you’re merely being you. Sometime, even the expression surpasses your imagination.

So, over the weekend while still in my: I LOVE NY mode – in the center of Manhattan, I dragged my entire family to come experience the beauty of poetry on Broadway. We decided to spend some time with the cast of a Shakespeare production in Central Park.

Shakespeare in the Park is the cornerstone series of the New York City theatrical producing organization known as the Public Theater and happens every summer at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Not sure if it made much sense to them, but I was intrigued because it reminded me of one of the things I found fascinating 20 years ago while still dating my husband – ‘He knew all about the Shakespeare collection which we borrowed from his Dad’s library. Awesome!

Unlike my children who were so excited walking the paths of the movies; ELF, Enchanted and Home Alone in the park – I couldn’t contain my excitement at the thoughts of having a whole park filled with people who just love good old poetry! I particularly enjoyed The Dairy, Literary Walk, Sheep Meadow, Tavern on the Green and Strawberry Fields of John Lennon.

Our expression about life is poetry itself. It either will be read out aloud for others to listen to, or it will be locked up inside our hearts and forgotten like every others before it. Poetry is lofty thought or impassioned feeling expressed in imaginative words.

Today, I am encouraging someone – Like in Hemingway’s book “The Old Man and the Sea” The man had disappeared behind the mannerism, the artist behind the artifice, and all that was left was a coldly flawless facade of words.” That we are able to use our spoken or written words to help transport our intention in life. Not to hold back because of fear of being hurt again, fear of falling or fear of failing – Let it out! Express yourself through poetry. It is okay to fall in love, again.

May God help us all!


Do we chase after borrowed portrait? Do we know God’s will concerning our lives?

all have seen

We all have that picture perfect portrait of what we want to be in life. Two things easily define our portraits. Either we are the talented artist behind the easel or we are the fortunate visitors to the art gallery.

We either move along with the flow, but could be easily side tracked by other people’s vision, achievement or disposition. We get so weak in the knees or become slaves of their supremacy, we admire their talent or we get deceitfully envious of their unique skills and intimidated by the chain of power and presence they command. The fox in us is displayed: Sly and cunning, without a mind of our own. We become self-appointed first-class personality hijackers.

For as long as I can remember, writing, dancing and art work has been my passion. And to help nurture my children with what I do best and unwind in the evening, we’ll spend time dancing to silly songs by Larry (veggie tales) before crashing to bed! Just recently my older daughter completed her classical ballet recital after 6 years of rehearsing. The joy of accomplishment on her face at the end of the show! Priceless! On my list of things needing completion. Checked. ‘Seeking God’s face for total submission of allowing her to continue dancing as a professional: My Portrait!!

So, like the story of the Tower of Babel, I learned two things. First, that when people make up their minds to do something, they often succeed; and second, that succeeding doesn’t mean that you’re in the will of God. The word Babel (confusion) means others can think you’re right, yet you’re wrong. You may ask, ‘”But isn’t it all right to make plans and set goals?” Yes, but your plans and goals should come out of a vision that God has given you.

Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God,” but you can only say that with confidence when you know what God has called you to do. What He ordains, He sustains! When you set your own goals you lack a heartfelt confidence that God is doing the work, so you wear yourself out thinking it’s all up to you. However, when you know God has given you a vision for your life, you trust Him, even when you can’t see anyway to bring it to pass.

We often forget that God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience.

Today, I am encouraging you to allow the Potter to put you on His wheel and whirl you around as He desires. While still in the light of the glory of the vision. We go right out to do things, but the vision is not yet real in us: we say because xyz is doing it, I can do it too! Releasing and discovering your talent is one thing: Claiming ownership of that freed self is another. Whose portrait are you still hovering over? Whose shadow are you still tracing? Discover your inner-mind skills and let your passion be aligned with God’s will.

May God help us all!








Friday Night Conversation with Yinka! – Part 2


True life stories from Abused Teenagers and Women in Shelter ( Continued )

It is another Friday night! A very good one! It’s been a wonderful July 4th holiday! Good BBQ/ Good time spent with Good old friends and Good out of town drive! I am still basking in the delight and excitement that comes with the blast and awesomeness of the fireworks. But the True life stories from Abused Teenagers and Women in Shelter is overdue with high demand of request to continue, So… Here we go!

I volunteered to spend an evening with some teenagers undergoing psychotherapy evaluation from molestation and sex addiction in order to finish a book I was writing.

So, I met with Arianna at a shelter I was assigned to sometime ago. She just turned 16 and was excited about getting a new tattoo. Through our conversation and her open hysteria about my sing-tune accent, she’d mentioned being raped at ages: 9, 10 and 11. By her mother’s boyfriend, by a group of boys when she was in foster care and by a female landlady, who had offered her a gallon of milk, Tylenol and a death threat!

Arianna spent nearly 2 years living with her mother in a hotel and a house owned by the hotel manager before they were once again forced to leave. “I wish I had known that I would’ve been okay if I had left mom,” she said, her lips quivering. “That it would not have been as hard as I thought it was going to be. That I would’ve been better off.”

Arianna spent another four months in a local motel as a prostitute before moving into a house with her best friend, the one who would help her with medication to help kick out infection and disease of the trade.

“I love my mom,” said Arianna. “I don’t blame her for any of it. It’s just something she has to deal with. But it’s a lot better now, getting to see her when she wants to see me, not when she’s not herself.”

Now she’s looking straight at me, with a wicked smile on her face, like a light bulb was just turned on, she asked, “Have you been raped before? I smiled and looked away like I didn’t hear her, my heart beating so hard, perspiration now gathering up, I cleared my throat, took a deep breath and…

(To be continued next week Friday)



‘Day Out With The Ladies – Chapter One.

B R I N G I N G   S E X Y     B A C K…

Is the world still your aptitude? Are you still full of energy? Remember then, you didn’t have too many responsibilities, even your career was a cool breeze, You were probably turning a few heads and tripping the light fantastic. Your mojo cup was full to the brim.

So, how’s that cup looking now? Are you down to the dregs? You don’t have to be old to feel the effects of life depletion. I felt it for the first time after the birth of my third child. I was overweight, tired, and milky… I looked like a plump squirrel, and felt that life as I had known it disappeared with my 44 inch waist. My groove was no mo’.

Ladies, no matter what toil life presents, our source of vigor, energy, sexual potency and power mustn’t die. And who says you can’t be HOT, BEAUTIFUL and COOL even after childbearing or over 40? Or because, you are still Single? I’m like: #moveoverslacks   #bringsexyback. #pickupyourlife #beallyoucan. #right now.

To officially launch this article, I planned a day out with a collection of beautiful-minded ladies to discover the power of togetherness. To enable an outlet to release stress, pain, rejection, depression, discuss the joy/burden of womanhood, loneliness. To hang out with each other by celebrating and impacting one another through open dialogue.

Excited, Elated, Thrilled and Jubilant, we all met at  the AMC 10 Cinema in our “me-time” attitude, all looking deliciously edible and watched the new Kevin Hart’s “Think Like A Man Too” movie. It was super comical and amusing! ‘tons of girly giggling and laughter all through. I even noticed some joyful tears, all out of pure heartwarming laughter! Popcorn sent flying on the aisle as some old musical notes were played ( did I sense nostalgia? Lol ). Hmmm!

After the movie, we all left in a convoy to the new Itchiban Buffet for lunch, and the stories began. It was a combination of married/single/separated/about to get married/searching/done searching/still in love/thinking of love/loving to love/hurt, but will bounce back- nurtured and well- seasoned ladies.

And we let it all out, over peppered seasoned fried crabs, well- cooked pot roast, dark open flamed grilled roast beef, mouth- watering Cajun shrimp pampered with hot chili peppers, a la carte, sushi, soft buttered mashed potatoes, sprinkled with rosemary-swimming in an Island of homemade beef gravy, garnished honey baked Lancaster farm- grown chicken, steamed carrots and sweet corn…

While eating, we all did agreed this gathering was too long overdue – it was much needed to help restore “a girl back to her sanity and groove! And we chatted, debated, discussed and exchange stories with our mouth full! No kids to chase around the restaurant/ or diaper changing .

From there, in our now acclaimed convoy, we cruised down to The Bamboo Spa where we were all ushered in by our individually assigned massage therapist, to be pampered with soothing green tea Pedi spa treatment, and the dialogue continues…

Our joy knows no bound when we selflessly reach out and connect with each other. Our positive act of kindness is a banner those with aching hearts see on display and will be looking up to. There is a sense of openness, broad-mindedness and acceptance when we come together to empower each other. The end point is completion-exhaled and affection-relayed to help inspire each other with personal stories about life. No two stories are alike, but all will end with similar breakthroughs and testimonies. Our strength, which is “The strong woman we are today” alone is a powerful tribe to reckon with.

‘Love you all Ladies for real! Thank you for attending, Thank you for the Shelter Shoes donated. ‘More to come!

May God help us all


To Be Continued…