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Monthly Archives: July 2012

When Love Becomes Complicated.

Christy has been shortchanged in her marriage. She married Ebube straight out of secondary school. Not that her friends didn’t warn her that she was making the wrong move. But Christy was in love with Ebube, he represented to her everything she didn’t see in her father’s relationship with her mother. Ebube was kind, affectionate and practically worshiped the floor she walked on. All he ever asked back from her was that she should love him back the way he did and always be faithful. That wasn’t going to be hard at all. Ebube worked in an oil company and was ready to give her everything she wanted. Why would she ever think of infidelity? Besides, he had promised that she could finish her education right from his house. What else can a girl ask for?

Fifteen years has passed. Christy now holds a degree in Mass Communication, two kids and a husband she loathes. Even before the euphoria of the honeymoon passed, Christy had felt the weight of Ebube’s fury as she endured beatings for things she often didn’t know anything about. Ebube was constantly on her case, monitoring her every move. Sometimes, he would cease her phone and keep it for the whole day, taking all the calls. If he sensed any foul play which he frequently did, Christy bore the brunt.

Ebube wanted Christy all to himself, literally, so she kept no friends neither was she allowed to work. She was never involved in the decision making process in the house, as Ebube often told her she didn’t have the intellectual capacity to make decisions. Worse still Christy couldn’t complain to her family as they were all blinded by Chris’ generosity and niceties when they were outside the house.

On the 15th year of their marriage, Ebube suffered a major setback as he lost his job. His savings quickly depleted and the kids were on the verge of being thrown out of school. It was at this point that Ebube allowed his wife to take a job.

Christy got a job in client services of an advertising agency. She was very efficient and soon her Executive Director saw the potentials in her and decided to send her on a course that would lead to her heading the department. It was on this course that she met Henry.

Henry was a perfect gentleman. When he first met Christy, he was attracted to her. He was just surviving a heart break and wasn’t exactly looking for ‘rebound guy’. He was more attracted to her intellect and her drive. Throughout the six weeks the training lasted, they shared ideas and worked together on various group projects and then just before they parted, on social night, Henry found that he was in love with Christy.

On her own part, Christy saw Henry’s company as a welcome development. Here was a man who saw her as human. Who genuinely enjoyed her company and who even took time to ask her what she wanted. He believed she had a functioning intellect! Christy fell in love with Henry.

Henry knew Christy was married. And for this reason he fought his feelings for her, but it was like the more he fought, the more he liked her. Three months later, he eventually revealed his feelings to her. Christy admitted fighting the same feelings to no avail. They were both in a complicated love affair.

What should Henry and Christy do?

 
10 Comments

Posted by on July 27, 2012 in General, Relationships, Sex and Marriage

 

Do You Speak A Complementary Language?

Vanessa awoke as the door opened. In a flash, she was off the sofa and beside Greg. She tried to read his face but it was blank. Greg was always such an unreadable book. She guided him to the sofa and waited for the news. He finally cracked a smile and revealed he got the job.

Vanessa was beside herself with joy. She wanted to know all about the interview but Greg chose to do the blank stare thing. He was never that much of a talker. Angry,
Vanessa accuses him of never talking to her and talks about how she can’t stand his constant silence. Greg mutters something indecipherable and heads to the bedroom. Another conversation gone South!

Sarah and Edward have been in a relationship for close to a year. Both believe their relationship would lead to marriage. Edward feels its time to discuss serious issues like where they’ll live, relationship with in-laws, number of children…everything.

On this date, Edward mentions that he is looking at a house at Gbagada, an area close to Victoria Island, Lagos. Since they both work on the Island, they would have easier access to the office. Sarah smiles and says she is sure that he has considered her office which is in Lekki Phase 1. Edward says he has which is why he ruled out Ikeja. Sarah says nothing else, even though she would have preferred to find accommodation on the Island. For the rest of the evening, she grows cold and distant, frustrated with Edward that he can’t hear her unspoken words. Edward attempts at trying to find out what the problem is earns him two words ‘nothing’ and ‘fine’. Edward begins to wonder if he has really found the right woman!

Fred decided a double date was a good way to get to know Karen. They were both in final year and Fred had watched her from afar for a while. They were on this date with Fred’s childhood friend and his sweetheart.

Fred tried to put everyone at ease by sharing an anecdote about the time he tried baking and ended up substituting baking powder for baking soda. Karen jumped on the conversation train eagerly, a little too eagerly shared a tale and then two and soon she was the driver of the train and steered it whichever way she wanted, hardly catching her breath as she spewed out tale after tale, some so tall, it left everyone in an uncomfortable silence. Fred used the time to do a total rethink.

Communication has been defined as the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions or information by speech, writing or signs. Its etymology is from the Latin ‘Communicare’ which literally means to put in common, impart, share. Experts will tell you that communication is not a linear but a circular process which is never ending. The feedback element ensures that the source at some point becomes the receiver and the receiver the source. Communication is not complete until the receiver interprets the message and makes meaning of it.

It follows then that for communication to take place there has to be an exchange of information which should be clearly understood by the individuals involved. And as the earlier definition shows such exchange does not necessarily involve saying anything. According to experts the ‘rule’ is 55|38|7. That is 55%body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% words. So silence speaks.

You may have noted in your various relationships how people’s personalities are reflected in the way they talk. We have individuals who never seem to say what they mean. They would speak indirectly like Sarah, hoping their partner would catch on-read their mind if you please. They sometimes employ euphemisms and sarcasms. Unless you plug in to their frequency, there will be so much channel noise that communication may never occur.

Then there are those who do all the talking. Like Karen, they always want to be in charge of the conversation. They hardly listen to what other people have to say. Such persons seem to be in love with the sound of their own voice. They also use sarcasm but not to mask what they are trying to say but rather to put other people down and make them the subject of ridicule. They are the communication predators.

We also have those who say very little. They would rather listen and contibute little or nothing. Even when they do, they tend to summarise everything in a sentence or two. Like Greg, they don’t tell long tales and may or may not have the patience to listen to others who do. They may end up often asking people to go straight to the point!

This list is by no means exhaustive (This writer identifies 12 styles http://conversationunlocked.com/general/general-rules-whats-your-conversation-style/ ) but when the parties in a relationship have different conversational styles, it often leads to conflicts as highlighted in the opening examples.

In fact, there is nothing essentially wrong with each individual’s conversational style. A person like Karen for instance is a handy person to have around in a room full of people who say much. What we need is to be able to complement each other. For example, imagine if Vanessa had served Greg and gone on to ask in specific terms what she would like to know about the interview session? Or what if Edward, knowing Sarah’s conversation style is passive, had listened beyond her words and understood what she was trying to say?

The key is in identifying the conversational style you lean more towards and try to figure out how you can work on aspects that need improvement or that can make you a better communication complement to your partner.

Why not ask a close friend you can trust with honest feedback or your partner to provide answers to these questions:
1. Do I listen when I am being spoken to or do I cut in and begin to second guess the speaker?
2. Do I ever sincerely acknowledge that I am wrong in an argument or do I have difficulty seeing other people’s point of view?
3. Do I clearly express my feelings or do I hide what I really feel and complain later?
4. Do I always agree with what other people say and remain hesitant to express my own feelings?
5. Do I lace my words with sarcasm or do I state my observations clearly?

If after you get sincere answers to the five questions above you realise that you have weak points, why not work at adopting a style that will make you a better complement?

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Relationships

 

Lamentations of a Broken Spirit

As a whirlpool spins
Like a cesspool sins
I have sinned, pass through my face
Memories of each in my heart race
Wishing
If I had taken time to think each thought,
then those fights I fought,
better fights I would have sought and my life would amount to better than nought.

Like the rain drop falls
As the windstorm hauls
The trees, my heart rages in pain
Now I have lived in glory so vain
Admitting
If I had waited patiently for true love’s kiss
and not hurried along into not being Miss,
about now I would have found this bliss
and not be living in this crisis.

Give me agony
Let joy flee and depart in disharmony
Give me pain
Let happiness find residence in another terrain
Away with peace
Let me weep and tear out my heart piece by piece
For darkness has possessed my soul
And a lack of light my whole

Where shall I find solace?
Am I to end in utter disgrace?
Death, I plead thee, come give me rest.
The place of Sheol, into your hands my soul I invest.

Remember me O my God, for Good!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Poetry

 

Till Parents do us Part!

To Love someone and then to let them go because you love them, that to me, is the greatest love of all~Abigail Anaba

When Gerald met Ngozi, it was not love at first sight. If anything, Gerald didn’t even like Ngozi. Her name was the first turn off. All the Ngozis he had met were flirtatious in nature. But, Andrew, his childhood friend had convinced him that his cousin was a rare gem and he wanted a rare gem-wife material.

As the first date became second and then third, Gerald realised Andrew was right. Ngozi was the epitome of gentility, very submissive and respectful. She was not over-demanding and she was an excellent cook. They both complemented each other. Gerald wanted Ngozi to be his wife. But no sooner had he proposed than did their tribulations start.

1. Ngozi’s parents were not so rich. They expected their daughter to marry a man who was well-to-do and who could elevate the family’s living standards. Gerald was an Accountant in a small firm. Not what Ngozi’s parents were expecting.

2. Ngozi was from a strong Catholic background and her parents expected that she would marry from The Church. Gerald was a Christian but Pentecostal. There was no way he was switching to make Ngozi’s parents happy.

3. Ngozi was Igbo . Her parents expected her to marry a nice Igbo boy with roots. Gerald was half Yoruba and half Ghanaian. Was he supposed to change his tribe?

Ngozi tried to talk to her parents and make a case for her love but her parents were adamant. Even if they would compromise number 3, 1 and 2 were for her spiritual and physical good. Gerald accused her of not defending their love strong enough and in a short while cracks began to appear in their relationship.

Ngozi loved Gerald but she couldn’t get herself to go against her parents wishes. As a child she had dreamt of a traditional church wedding. She wasn’t ready to give up that dream. Why couldn’t Gerald just become a Catholic just for a while. And then there was the issue of his salary. What he earns is hardly enough. She was not ready for a life of bear-with-me. How could they cope after marriage?

Gerald could not see why any of these were even issues. He was raised by very liberal parents and his policy in life was being content with the basics: sustenance and covering. He had taken out a mortgage on a house. He had a car. He could pay his rent and of course if he and Ngozi worked together they’d be fine. If he and Ngozi stuck together, they didn’t even need her parents blessing.

Gerald and Ngozi were at cross roads. What should they do?

Please feel free to leave your comment as Gerald and Ngozi would love to hear from you.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Relationships

 

…And the Keeper in her Place

So my housekeeper decided it was okay to give me a tongue lashing today. No, its not in her job description. It’s true I sometimes forget what a persons job description is but I most certainly would remember if I had employed someone just to give me a tongue lashing when they deemed fit. But, she still does it whenever she sees me, which is not often.

Of course, I found this very annoying. I mean who wouldn’t. It’s as annoying as those pesky people who say ‘giyam breast now’ when a baby decides to pick the most inappropriate place to cry. Imagine a baby crying in a crowded bus and the expect you to bring out your breast and … urgh!!! Nosey people, as nosey as my housekeeper!

*Sigh* My housekeeper, who from this point I’ll call HK. U know HK, house keeper? Get it just H for house and…ok u get it… But just so you know there are people who don’t get it. I’ve had people ask me what’s ‘LOL’, ‘RME’, ‘TMI’ ‘TTSIDL’ and even ‘HNIC’. Okay you are not one of those…yeah?

So her complaint is that I burn food also known as ‘I’m wasteful’. Like WTH?! Is it her kitchen or her pot? I burn food n so effing what? Is it her food? I mean its not like my husband is complaining. And even if he is, I know how to handle him. You know I can’t burn the other one. Its always fresh *winks*. And as for the kids, well, they get to eat whatever I give them *tongue out*.

I mean why should HK be complaining? Even if she gets to scrub and wash the pots and keep the kitchen clean! Its not like I burn everyday…just like five times a week *looks round* okay six, but my point is: I pay her. And she should not be telling me what to or not to do. Such things get people fired. Like who’s the ‘she-boss’ anyway?!

And so I have decided I’m going to show her who’s in charge. You should not allow people who work for you get away with such things. You must always draw the line.

Come to think of it, I have perfectly good reasons I burn food. Sometimes I’m tweeting and the talk is so cool I don’t remember I’m cooking and the food burns. And sometimes I’m watching a really you-can’t-leave-this-show-for-anything on TV. Does she expect me to remember a darn pot in the middle of a movie? I mean who does that?

And then of course there are times I’m working. I’m always multi tasking on the really important things in life. Like I can be writing a script, watching a movie and tweeting. How can I add minding the pot to my multitasking? That would be very dumb. And you know I aint dumb, right?

So I am drawing the line. She’s never going to get to talk to me like that no more. And you know why? Because from this night, I’m going to effect great changes. She really should not have tongue-lashed me. She should have just stuck to her duties, then I wouldn’t have need to make this decision that would have far reaching consequences. When I’m pushed to the wall, I don’t scale the wall, I turn right around and push back. *Stands up for effects* From tonight, I repent from burning food *straight facce*. What better way to put a stop to being put down like that?

Wait a minute, you didn’t think I was going to fire her, did you? Come on guys, she’s a keeper *smiles* Pun intended!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2012 in General

 

Twitter and Influence

Bernays (1928) says that it is possible to “regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies”. That is to say, it is possible to influence and manipulate the opinion of individuals in a society such that they think and act in the way the manipulator wants them to. This influence was used extensively by the Third Reich leader, Adolf Hitler, to the extent that Germans as a people saw nothing wrong with the persecution and subsequent extermination of millions of Jews and others in the Holocaust. They acted as a mob.

Hitler’s co-ordinated attempt to influence public opinion in his time was carried out using the media, especially radio. Hitler was able to broadcast messages through radio over and over and soon, German’s began to believe these messages.

Scholars have long been interested in the study of media influence. This has led to the propagation of various media effects theories such as the Hypodermic Needle/Magic Bullet theory, Two/Three Step Flow theories, Cultivation theory, Social Action theory, Agenda Setting theory, Media Dependency theory among others. There have been debates and disagreements among scholars disproving these theories or favouring one over the other. Most of these theories were, however, propounded with the traditional media in mind.

Today, communication technology has led to the realisation of Marshall Mcluhan’s “global village”. Internet technology has made it possible for anyone with a mobile device or personal computer to link up with the world and get information at their finger tips. The age of “pen pals” and the snail mail have been replaced with social networking and messaging at the touch of a button. Audiences have moved from being mere receivers of media messages to becoming users of the media and news sources. (Bryant & Thompson, 2002). Shapiro (1999) argues that the emergence of new digital technologies signals a potential radical shift of who is in control of information, experience and resources. We can contrast President Barack Obama’s use of the new media in his election campaigns and the use of new media to co-ordinate the Egyptian revolution, to support this argument. The new media seems to be the silver bullet that would solve all problems of opinion formation especially with most of the traditional media now running a new media counterpart of their various products.

The present government of Nigeria has embraced the use of social media as a channel to communicate government policies to Nigerians. The idea of “tweet meets” was developed by Minister of Youth, Alhaji Bolaji Abdulahi and the first held in October 2011, “the idea is to break down the bureaucratic walls and grant any Nigerian who has a computer, internet and Twitter handle access to the Minister”. Other ministers have since followed suit. (Vanguard Newspapers, Dec 28, 2011)

It is against this back drop that I have chosen to examine the Role of New Media in Influencing Public Opinion on Policy Issues in Nigeria, using Twitter as a case study. This is a research work. Please if you use Twitter, could you take five minutes of your time to complete this survey. None of the information you provide will be used for any other purpose other than this research. Please follow this link http://kwiksurveys.com/online-survey.php?surveyID=MMOMFN_2e15f605&u=twitterinfluenceongovpolicy&UID=2796871365 Thank you.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 2, 2012 in General