2019 Nigeria Elections: My thoughts and Bias

Many people have said many things for the sake of making their candidates look the most preferred, but some of them have been ignorantly biased to my shock and embarrassment. Here are they:

1. BETTER YOU VOTE FOR A THIEF THAN ONE WHO KILLS?

This is one of the most sorry idea I will ever hear from anyone who should have known that there is nothing like lesser evil, for all are evils that leads to destruction. Supporters of Atiku or Buhari should learn from the fall of King Saul. Any leadership not guided by God but by immorality or illegality of whatever nature is bound to bring pain and sorrow to the people.

2. ANY VOTE NOT FOR ATIKU OR BUHARI IS A WASTE?

People with this mindset are suffering from the bandwagon effect. They are the type who make their decisions based on the crowd that they see on campaign grounds, but not on the Intellectual and intentional capacity of the candidates. For who told anyone that the solutions to our problems lies within these two men? Your vote is your right and never a waste when you vote based on what you believe in. So feel free to vote for any other candidate apart from Buhari and Atiku.

3. SHOOT BALLOT BOX SNATCHERS?

Many have complained that this was very extreme and unconstitutional; and that it will lead to fear, voter apathy, extra judicial killings or people being hit by stray bullets. But what critics of this order by the president never thought of is that ballot box snatchers don’t come unarmed, they come with guns and knives to scuttle the election. I remember the first time I was sensible enough to witness and understand election in 2007, I had watched NTA live reports from some Polling units. The news that day was horrible as I saw deaths being reported from different parts of the country because of ballot box snatchers. Ballot box thieves don’t come unarmed, so don’t expect the military or police to try to use kid gloves to handle them. Armed aggression will definitely require armed response. I was surprised Festus Keyamo as a SAN could not properly explain this. The mistake which I believed he made was to explain the president’s stance using the president’s words, forgetting that the President is a retired soldier and could not possibly have chosen the right words to depict his resolve to stop ballot snatching. Commonsense warrants the military to take armed response when the crime puts other people’s lives in jeopardy. So if ballot box snatchers come with weapons to steal, the security operatives are very much obliged to take a defensive and protective stance. I am thus pleased with the police response to that order as they had stated they will act based on the ambience of the constitution on ballot box snatching, while the military had disappointingly made themselves look partisan by their own remarks.

4. BUHARI IS THE ONLY ONE WITH INTEGRITY THAT CAN FIGHT CORRUPTION AND ATIKU IS THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN REVAMP OUR ECONOMY?

These two are just over prized products that will end up not meeting to the value being announced by their marketers. In the case of Buhari, if people really know the meaning of integrity or if they have ever checked the meaning in a dictionary, I am sure they would have been so ashamed of themselves for giving him such accolades(that’s if this first four years didn’t reveal it to them). In fighting corruption to a stand still, you don’t always have to depend on strong people to do so, for strong will come and go but the system will remain. Thus, we need a strong system that will stay after many strong men have come and gone, thereby working towards making corruption difficult to take place. The only thing Buhari has succeeded in doing is to expend too much time arresting or should I say witch hunting offenders, in which there is no possibility it will be sustainable immediately he leaves power. I therefore wish for a time when we don’t need a leader for the sake of fighting corruption but an established system that fights corruption without any interference or manipulation. Atiku on the other hand might have been in the business outlet, but one thing that still hangs around him is his penchant for taking advantage of public assets for his own gain. So what is the possibility that he is not coming back for the sake of amassing more for his friends and family. Whichever way both of them won’t earn my votes, I hope Kingsley Monghalo and Sowore listening. For in a sane country without all these bias rhetorics, they sure would have been the talk and not these two inadequacies.

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SILENT THE VIOLENCE

I ma shout PEACE like a sirene.
So count me out! For me no do no violence.
Keep yah change I’m not for your hiring. Dont do no thugs for your money- I despise it.
You want me out in the streets to do your biddings;
your bloody toy to destroy,
is that your thinking?
You say you’re my saviour, my salvation from poverty;
From the corruption and the pain in society?
You say: son your are the future!
But my future never comes.
For that’s what you promised in your political taunts.
Your political promises are like blatant tricks from fraudulist.
There’s no such thing as truth in your oesophagus.
Sweet tale teller,
your saliva spit viral.
Fatal, bitter, worse than a viper.
Promising us light,
but darkness is now our plight.
Our lives grows thinner in slim slices of your lies.
We all cry for jobs but you give us guns instead.
Without education our future is a mess, even with education we are worthless nonetheless.
And now its election you come calling upon us?
To kill and maim ourselves just for you to get untop?
But we are wiser now.
So hard for you to fool us now. For enough is enough!
All this violence gotta stop.
For let it be said
and let it be read
that: violence brings LOSS, PAIN AND REGRET.
An impediment worse than hades on earth. For violence is a waste of our future and strength.
For election no be war,
na just a matter of choice.
For our power is not in guns and all the matchets and bombs.
But it is right there in our hands-
on our mighty little thumbs.
Therefore I shall proclaim;
with all the Naija blood flowing in my veins that- I SHALL NEVER BE USED TO SET THIS NATION ABLAZE. ITS A CHOICE I HAVE MADE TO SILENT THE VIOLENCE AND HATE…# so COUNT me OUT of VIOLENT action; BUT count ME in FOR peaceful ELECTION.

(kano, Nigeria 21 Jan, 2015)

Election Eve in Kano

It is getting late in the day. I had decided to take a long walk around town to try to feel the pulse of things. I always do so to get the feel of issues and also get cheap gossips. It will be unfortunate to sit at home only for the flood of misfortune to come and meet me at my doorstep. In a place like Kano, being aware is very crucial so as to spot trouble coming long before they reach you and then device means with which to avoid it. But another means being employed is taking preventive steps, which involves avoiding trouble even when there is no trouble at all. In this case, people who fall into this category tend to travel out of Kano during elections or move to some so-called save zones in Kano (Sabongari and the GRA).

I have a handful of friends who have offered to accommodate me during the election period. I am yet to take any of the offers given since I am quite optimistic there won’t be any issues. Should there be any, it will be when the results starts trickling in. But realistically the presidential election of 2015 had more risk of becoming violent than that of 2019. Anybody would know that the religious and ethnic question made 2011 and 2015 volatile. But in 2019, the question of religion and ethnicity doesn’t seem to cross the mind. The election is less being contested on religious or ethnic front because both major candidates are of the same faith and tribe. Anyway, that may actually not rule out completely the possibility of some parts of the country having issues. For example, places like Kaduna, Taraba, Kano, and Kwara are bound to be turbulent in terms of the governorship elections because of the power tussle that exist between the local politicians there.

In Kano for instance, the Kwankwasiyyas and Gandujiyyas have developed bad blood for the last three or four days of campaign in that that there have been clash of thugs with deaths recorded. PDP and APC rallies are now not just decorated with people dressed in party colours but with people armed with unimaginable weapons. I once saw a campaign train with thugs armed to the teeth with scary looking knives and daggers and sticks as if going for a war. But what shocked me the most was when just behind them where Some team of police officers on Hilux. At that point I marvelled at the politicians in Asorock who tend to promise security during the elections or the IG of police who announced confidently that they are ready for a peaceful and safe election.

I could then remember a story of how a police officer in 2011 elections had escaped being mobbed after he came across some irrate mobs burning down houses and maiming people. They had seen him armed with his AK47 . He knew they probably will disarm him and roast him along with the burning houses if he dared confront them. All he simply had to do to ride his motorcycle pass through the zombie mobs was to scream “sai baba”. And that was how he got saved. It is evident that should there be any widespread outbreak of violence the police will be grossly inadequate to offer any solid protection to the people, for their numbers are shockingly small to cover a large state like Kano.

Entering a quiet street I could see children running around shouting political slogans playfully. I could also see some children play acting the role of political thugs; moving in mass with sticks. To them, it is just a play, but could this be like they are preparing themselves for their future political role as a thug? While walking my phone rings in my pocket and I had to check. It was my mother calling. I made to pick the call when suddenly I felt a firm grip on my shoulder. I turned and saw two dark faces staring at me. Instantly, my brain began to give me red signals. I clearly could not make put their faces due to the fact that it was quite dark then and because that part of the street was always pitch black. One of them points to my phone and said something which I didn’t understand at first. Was he asking for me to give him my phone? Was I being robbed? I thought.

“Menene? Me afaru? What?” I had to ask mixing up the languages trying to ascertain their linguistic standing. They instantly understood my linguistic inadequacies and replied.

“Abokina, put your waya for foket. Town no good now. No dey make call outside with big phone. Dem jus chook one girl knife for here now-now because she no gree give dem phone. You better be careful fa”

The message was clear. I had to ignore my mother’s call. Switched the phone off and hurriedly walked passed the dark street into another street which appears bright with street lights and was busy with people moving around. I felt safe.

It was evident that the phone snatching and stabbing incident was the handwork of some jobless and wicked element who tend to create chaos or take advantage of panic in order to rob people, break into fled homes and shops and steal things. Violence that often takes place in Kano currently is not necessarily carried out by the general populace, but is carried out by the teeming unemployed, drug abusing, lazy and criminally minded sets of individuals, who long for outbreak of chaos for them to steal and usurp other people’s property. These days people are fleeing the election not just with their lives but with their property, for homes will be left unguarded thereby leading to break ins and pillaging.

I later sat at the entrance to a friend’s compound. Two men came around and began their usual chat about the election and their criticism of the two major political actors.

“Nigeria will tomorrow have an election”

“No be only election, na erection”

“Ah! Why are you sounding like this? You better come out and vote tomorrow o!”

” How will I vote when every election the people we vote for end up raping us of our humanity. Look at people suffering and lives being lost here and there. They should just stop this thing called election, let us go back to those days when we used to have kings, obas, igwes and emirs ruling us. At least we won’t be having useless and wasteful elections every four-four years, that only brings fear and bad blood”

“No oh! What are you talking like this? I no gree with you. For example, just imagine Buhari na king now, with all this jaga jaga weh him do, you go still want am to continue they suffer us because na king him be and we can’t remove ham? Kowe! We need election to remove bad government and put new ones.”

“Bad government indeed! Was that not what we said before we vote out Good luck Jonathan? And by the way who tell you say Atiku will do any better? He will just mess up like Buhari, who had promised us heaven and earth but left us in hell instead.”

“Abeg leave that talk. Atiku will do better.”

“Sidon there they believe politicians. Atiku and Buhari are the same”

It was obvious, they were not going to agree with each other. They later stood up after the Atiku defender offered to take the other for a couple of drinks at a nearby bar. I was now left alone watching people pass and cars drive by. My mother calls again. This time I looked left and right and checked round before picking the call. As usual mothers will be mothers. She had called just to check on me and to request I stay safe. Immediately the call ended and I put my phone aside. A little boy comes by and started the usual alimajiri chants begging for something to eat from me. Normally, I used to give, but this day I had a thousand naira note which I wanted to guard jealously against spending because I wanted to manage my resources, for one can’t tell how the election night turn out to be. These days immediately you use out of a thousand naira note, it quickly finishes with you not being able to tell what you had used it for. One thousand note spending value could now be equated to a five naira note- it fetches nothing consequential and never last.

“Ya kuri, babu kudi walahi” , I had fumbled the words to the boy for him to leave. But he still stayed. I repeated my apology for not having and even ignored him, but he stood firm and kept on singing. What happened next froze me. The boy, as he was about to walk away, burst into tears. I have never met anyone of them shed tears before, but merely witnessing this helpless lad cry, broke down my earlier standing. I instantly jumped to my feet and took him to a nearby beans cake seller. I then bought bean-cakes and fried yam worth 150 naira; hoping he shares with the others that could be seriously hungry like him.

That single moment got me thinking, “with the economy biting hard on the rich( that even Dangote’s net worth had dropped astronomically) and the middle income earners (struggling), one cannot imagine how harsh it will be to the very poor in the society.

While at the bean cake seller’s place a drunk man had stumbled by asking for directions. The bean cake seller had asked him to leave. It appeared he was lost and was way too drunk to find his way home. I pitied him, but couldn’t help him. Since he actually brought this upon himself let him handle it himself. I thought. But then is this not a picture of Nigeria? We definitely deserve any government we choose to pick starting from tomorrow during the election. We shouldn’t blame anyone for our choices but should rather make the right move this time around.

The night was becoming cold. I had to go back home, charge my phone, radio and check for news on TV as regards the election. As far as I am concerned in this election, staying safe is by being informed. And I indeed want to be informed.

Wait! Election has been postponed?

Sweet Sixteen by Bolaji Abdullahi (synopsis, Possible Questions and Answers)

1. The Letter

Aliya will soon turn 16, two days before her end of term examination. She had before read a book titled Sweet sixteen when she was 14 and had thus imagined what life would mean for her attaining that age. She is the only child of her parents. Her mother is a nurse and her father is a journalist. Her father, Mr Bello didn’t really fancy birthdays as something worth celebrating, for he always tries to remind her that she should not be deceived by her body size for she is still a child. He anyway makes it a point of duty to always send her birthday greeting cards ever since she turned 12 in JS1, with the following words on it:

“Happy birthday my first lady. Remember that only God is greater than you”

But on that day the principal who used to hand her the greeting card from her father acted unusual as he was busy scolding a teacher. This made her afraid that something must have happened to her father. While in her Geography class, she appears inattentive. She remembers a gift she had once received from a boy called Tokunbo Alabi (a.k.a Bobo). It was a teddy bear with the inscription “I love You”. On telling her father about the gift during one of his visitation, he had told her that she should be mindful lest Bobo had given the gift for the sake of getting something in return (which is her accepting to be his girlfriend). As a result she decides to return the gift to Bobo, but was interrupted at the point of doing so by the arrival of the duty teacher. In the end Bobo travels to Ireland without her being able to return the gift.

Immediately after the class she rushes to the principal’s office. The principal gives her the parcel from her father . The parcel contains a portable digital camera (LCD monitor), a birthday card with the words ” happy Sweet Sixteen”, and a blue covered spiral bound document with the words ” Letter to my Daughter ” written, which is the same title of a book written by Maya Angelou. The letter contains 16 pages which represents each year of her life.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ( The Letter)

1. At what age did Aliya read the book titled Sweet sixteen ? (14 years)

2. What word was used as a compromise between her and her dad over the issue of being called a child? (Young Adult)

3. Aliya hated the word “child” because she feels it equates or means being what? ( stupid)

4. Who twisted the word measuration to menstruation? (Akin)

5. Akin in Aliya’s class calls himself (The king of boys)

6. Who is regarded as smart but unserious? (Akin)

7. Aliya used to score what grade in her most challenging subject, Chemistry? (C)

8. What sort of characteristics does her room mate Grace have? (Quiet, nice, generous)

9. Who gave Aliya a teddy bear on valentine’s day? ( Tokunbo Alabi )

10. Aliya suffers from what medical condition? (Asthma)

11. Aliya uses a ( Ventolin) inhaler.

12. At what age did her father start to send her greeting cards during her birthdays? (12 years old while in JS1)

13. What game was her father playing when he came to visit her? ( chess)

14. The contents of her father’s gift are:- ( a portable digital camera (LCD monitor), a birthday card with the words ” happy Sweet Sixteen”, and a blue covered spiral bound document with the words ” Letter to my Daughter “)

2. Drive

Aliya starts reading the 16 pages letter and in it, her father recalls a particular point in time when she was just 12 years old in JS1 and on holiday, when he had taken her out on a drive around. Then she wore a Chelsea FC jersey which had on it the inscription ” First lady”. It was a gift to her after her father returned from London some months earlier.

During the drive, they come across a lorry with the words: “No condition is permanent”. The ” No” appears already washed off that all that now appears visible is ” condition is permanent “. Aliya envies the girls who sells in the traffic, for she feels they are living their lives freely. But her father tells her she shouldn’t be too sure, for even the girls do wish they could switch places with her. Aliya’s family happens to be living a comfortable life in a house that has high fences that their Grandma once said she would not stay because she felt the house looked like prison.

Aliya’s father tells her that he believes those girls would climb out of poverty if only they were educated. According to him, ” it is easier to climb up on an empty stomach than on a full one”. He narrates to her how poor he was while growing and how he is now fortunate as a result of education.

While Aliya had her Vanilla and chocolate Ice cream, her father uses it as an opportunity to talk about menstruation. She converses to her father that she already knows about sex from TV, classmates, books, magazines etc. She equally narrates how she had stumbled upon a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine which she had found at Auntie Molara’s room after she left for school. Her father appears visibly worried when he hears these, and even more when she tells him that there are other avenues like NETFLIX where people download and watch any video they want. Her father advises her not to expose herself to such influences.

Your mind is like a beautiful room, you have to be careful what you let in”. He talks to her not to allow pressures from friends make her engage in wrongful habits. And equally not to allow anyone touch her ” private parts”.

While reading the letter she compares her dad to prophet Lukman who was sent by God to teach his son. She therefore values the letter and promises to share it with her future kids.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (The drive )

1. Aliya’s father is a fan of what football team? (Chelsea football club)

2. What was the inscription on the Chelsea jersey she had on during the drive? (First lady)

3. Give the original inscription on the lorry which Aliya saw during their drive? (No Condition is Permanent)

4. Why did Grandma not want to live with them? (…because she felt the house looked like prison)

5. What situation did Aliya’s father use as an opportunity to talk to her about menstruation? (Vanilla and chocolate Ice cream)

6. Who owns the magazine Aliya found and read? ( Auntie Molara)

7. What was the statement a mother told her daughter after she started seeing her period? ( ..that since she has seen her period, if a boy touches her she would get pregnant)

3. Work

Aliya finally arrives home for holiday and wishes to ask her father more questions as regards the contents of his letter to her.

After making tea for her dad which she had painstakingly learnt from her mother, she told her father that she does not want to be a doctor anymore but wants to be lawyer. Her career choices had often changed over time. First, she had wanted to be a pilot, but instantly changed her mind after she heard of a plane crash. She later wanted to be a musician and song writer, but after asthma attack she made a switch. She decided to become a doctor. But that soon changed after she started reading John Grisham’s books in the library; which made her to suddenly want to become a lawyer. Her father sees no issues with her decision. Instead he says that it doesn’t matter what career she chooses as long as she enjoys doing it. She tells him of a girl in school who she saw cheating during a Physics exam; all because she was tired of being compared to her young ones by her parents.

Her father tells her that it is better one fails and learn than to cheat and pass but never learn. He mentions the poem “Ulysses” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, quoting the following lines to his daughter:

“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” in order to emphasize the importance of never giving up whenever one fails.

Aliya tells her father of another of her classmate, Sogo who says that his father wants him to be a lawyer because he is a lawyer. Her father condemns the idea of parents putting pressures on their children to be like them. She raises the question of children must always obey their parents as being the reason why children find it difficult to ignore their parent’s wishes. Her father responds by citing a poem by the Lebanese poet Gilbran Kahli:

“For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow which you cannot visit even in your dreams” (meaning parents should not try to determine the future of their children much of which they will not be part of).

Aliya acknowledges her dad’s wisdom as a result of books which he widely read. Her father talks of current generation that know how to read but yet refuses to read as a result of social media . Quoting Einstein who predicted that technology will surpass human interaction and as a result create a generation of idiots. She tells her dad that technology is not to blame but the people who use it the wrong way. Her father agrees with her.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Work)

1. Give the colour of dad’s, mum and Aliya’s mug in the order presented. (Dad’s blue, mum’s red, Aliya’s Orange)

2. What is the make up or content of dad’s tea which Aliya had learnt from her mother? (2 tea bags, 2 cubes of sugar, 5 tea spoons of milk, and the hot water for the tea must be boiled from a kettle)

3. What are the various professions/careers that Aliya had chosen along the way? (Pilot- music- doctor- lawyer)

4. What did Aliya get in her last Chemistry exam? (A)

5. What lead to Aliya wanting to be a lawyer?

6. Who referred to the future generation as being idiots as a result of technology, supplanting human interactions? (Albert Einstein)

7. Mr Bello had compared his wife’s love for shoes and bags to who? (Imelda Marcos, First Lady of Philippines with over 3000 pair of shoes)

4. The Gandhi Test

Aliya further asks her father concerning the things he had written to her in the letter. She seeks to know what his father meant when he says she should apply the Gandhi test whenever she has doubts as regards what is wrong and what is right.

Her father explains to her that this idea came from the Indian called Mohatma Gandhi who she recalls by mentioning that Gandhi used to put on Harry Porter’s eye glasses. Her father explains to her that Gandhi had chosen a life of poverty to show that a human being doesn’t really need much to survive. He was not interested in being prime minister but sought for India’s independence.

According to Gandhi, “ you can tell what you are doing is good or bad if you want other people to know about it or not”. Whenever one hides or feels ashamed doing something then that thing must be questionable or wrong. Her dad refers to people who are shameless or do not have a sense of shame as animals ( they are guided by instincts instead of morals and ethics).

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (The Gandhi Test)

1. What is Gandhi test? (It is a test to help detect if what they want to do is wrong or right by if it is something they would want people to know or not)

2. Gandhi’s eye glasses was compared to whose? (Harry Porters’)

5. Dating

She ask her father if she is old enough to date, since she is now sixteen. Her dad took some time to respond. He always applies a 5-why test whenever it has to do with finding justification for ones intentions. He seeks to know from her why people date. She ends up using acronyms like HAK (hugs and kisses) and KOTL ( Kiss on the Lips) as likely reason for dating.

Her father tells her that dating is not wrong but can be very demanding for a girl her age. He expresses that most young adults relationships are driven by infatuation which is too excessive and poorly controlled leads to a lot of issues. Her dad points out that because of the emotional issues involved it can lead to distraction for a boy or girl her age. Aliya remembers how jealous she felt and how it affected her emotionally when she saw Bobo with another girl, Morayo. Even though she still insist she had no feelings for him. She equally recalls a note a boy called Zak had copied to her:

Do you know any cardiologist, because my heart skips a bit every time I think of you”.

She had tore the note to shreds for she wasn’t ready to suffer heart ache out of jealousy because Zak’s was also liked by so many girls.

Her dad explains to her the importance of staying focus using the word derailment. He states that as long as a train stay on the track it will get to its destination, but immediately it derails ” that should be the end of its journey”. He further says that gratifications or seeking for pleasure at the point in time when one needs to be focused leads to derailment.

She then informs her dad of a boy and a girl that were caught having sex at a basket ball court at night during prep. He responds by saying the girl will feel the regret for a very long time more than the boy who will only see it as one of his conquests.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ( Dating)

1. What is the 5-why test? ( it is a test meant to check if ones intended action is justified or needed)

2. Who had passed a love note to Aliya while in school? (Zaks)

3. How did Aliya feel on seeing Bobo with Morayo? (She felt a bit jealous)

4. What word did her father use to explain the importance of staying focused? (Derailment)

5. Where and when was a boy and a girl caught having sex in Aliya’s school? (At the basket ball court at night during prep)

6. Stereotype

Her conversation continues with her dad the next day as they start with her telling her dad of how a girl at school had said muslims will go to hell because they do not believe in Jesus or like to kill people. She was not happy with Rebecca’s comment but was restrained by her friends from commenting because they know Rebecca for her troublesome nature.

Her father responds by saying that reacting to provocations are mainly done by animals who cannot control their emotion. He was glad Aliya did not react , for doing so would have further confirmed Rebecca’s accusation. He further states that it is wrong to criticise peoples religious beliefs. Mohammad Ali once said:

hating people because of their colour is wrong. It does not matter who does the hating”.

Her father also tells her that if GOD had wanted one over the other he would have created all to be the same, but God knows that the most beautiful garden is the one with different flowers. Thus there is beauty in diversity.

He further tells her that those few people who commit wrongful act should not be used to generalise that all people are like that; for no true religion engages in the killing of innocent people. He advises her not to make up her mind on people before even meeting them to assess them fully. Chances are that she might be wrong.

He tells her of a story involving a wicked Chief slave trader who raided a village and made lots of women, men and children slaves, and had them bound and put on a ship to be sold across the Atlantic. On the ship, slaves were killed and tortured by the slave traders. On the sea, misfortune latter struck as the ship capsizes with many deaths except for the Chief slave trader who appears seriously injured and then a black slave who was uninjured. The black slave without any grudge had nursed the chief slave trader to good health instead of taking revenge. The chief of the slave traders as a result of this kindness by the black slave returned home to fight for the abolition of slave trade.

Her father had thus used this story to tell her that it is possible to change people by simply not behaving like them.

QUESTIONS &ANSWERS (Stereotype)

1. Who had slighted Aliya with a comment against muslims and what was Aliya’s reaction? (It was Rebecca, and Aliya did not react after she was restrained from commenting by her friends who knew Rebecca was always troublesome)

2. Her father believes that people who react to provocations impulsively are simply what? ( Animals that cannot control their emotion)

3. The statement, ” hating people because of their colour is wrong…” was made by? ( Mohammad Ali)

4. In the story of the ship wreck, how many people Survived and who were they? (Two persons: Chief slave trader and a black slave)

5. The word stereotype means? (A set of idea that people have about what someone or something is like, especially an idea that is wrong)

7. Beauty

Aliya tells her father of how she had been been bullied in school because of her physical appearance. Then a biology teacher had called her names like latiFAT and FATima in order to make fun of her. He equally body shamed her when he drew an endomorph on the board and had used her as example in comparison. There was another girl called Bunmi, who also insulted her because of her size.

Her father was not happy about this. he tries to convince her that she is beautiful the way she is “Beauty is nothing but character is needed” according to Muhammad Ali. Aliya’s father tells her not to allow anyone to hurt her just as in the words of Mohatma Gandhi ” Nobody can hurt me without my permission”.

Aliya raises the question of why is it that most beauty contestants are tall and slim. He replies by saying that everyone that comes in different shapes, sizes and skin colour are all beautiful. That feeling good about oneself with pride is what beauty is. He blames the media for the definition of beauty as being tall and slim and for the misinformation that fat and ugly goes together. Things like that has led to people using bleaching creams which often causes skin cancer and damage of internal organs. He further quotes Mohammed Ali who believes that every girl should be treated like a queen.

On the issue of bullying, he states that people bully others because they think those people are better than them in some ways or have something they cannot have . Bunmi for instance was rude to Aliya because she felt Aliya was feeling pompous and because of her academic performance.

Aliya tells her father that she is going to be a head girl, and wishes to donate her Nebuliser to the school clinic so as to help students with issue of asthma.

Her father ends the conversation with the story of a hunter who had lost his way looking for a hunt. He became hungry to the point of death when he dreamingly enters a place where an inscription tells him the meals are free for it has been paid for by his ancestors. He went in, ate and took some more food for his journey. As he was about to leave they asked him to stop and pay for his children just as his ancestors did for him. This story was meant to serve as a way of her father telling her to also pass on the lessons he had passed on to her.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ( Beauty)

1. Who had called Aliya names like latiFAT and FATima in order to body shame her? (Her biology teacher)

2. Who is quoted to have said that “beauty is nothing but character is needed“? (Mohammad Ali)

3. Who is quoted to have said ” Nobody can hurt me without my permission” ? ( Mohatma Gandhi)

4. Who believed that every girl should be treated like a queen? ( Mohammad Ali)

5. According to Aliya’s father , the wrong definition of beauty as being slim and tall is the fault of what? (The Media)

6. What could be the reason for Bunmi being rude to Aliya? ( …because she felt Aliya was intelligent and must be feeling pompous about it)

7. The story of the hunter who ate food paid for by his ancestors is meant to teach Aliya what lesson? (It was meant to serve as a way of telling her that just as she had received this piece of advice from him, she should also pass it on to her own children to come).

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