Friday, 29 January 2016

Universal Human Rights



1. We Are All Born Free & Equal. We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.

2. Don’t Discriminate. These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.

3. The Right to Life. We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.

4. No Slavery. Nobody has any right to make us a slave. We cannot make anyone our slave.

5. No Torture. Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.

6. You Have Rights No Matter Where You Go. I am a person just like you!

7. We’re All Equal Before the Law. The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.

8. Your Human Rights Are Protected by Law. We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.

9. No Unfair Detainment. Nobody has the right to put us in prison without good reason and keep us there, or to send us away from our country.

10. The Right to Trial. If we are put on trial this should be in public. The people who try us should not let anyone tell them what to do.

11. We’re Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty. Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true.

12. The Right to Privacy. Nobody should try to harm our good name. Nobody has the right to come into our home, open our letters, or bother us or our family without a good reason.

13. Freedom to Move. We all have the right to go where we want in our own country and to travel as we wish.

14. The Right to Seek a Safe Place to Live. If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country, we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe.

15. Right to a Nationality. We all have the right to belong to a country.

16. Marriage and Family. Every grown-up has the right to marry and have a family if they want to. Men and women have the same rights when they are married, and when they are separated.

17. The Right to Your Own Things. Everyone has the right to own things or share them. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.

18. Freedom of Thought. We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe, to have a religion, or to change it if we want.

19. Freedom of Expression. We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.

20. The Right to Public Assembly. We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don’t want to.

21. The Right to Democracy. We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.

22. Social Security. We all have the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and childcare, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old.

23. Workers’ Rights. Every grown-up has the right to do a job, to a fair wage for their work, and to join a trade union.

24. The Right to Play. We all have the right to rest from work and to relax.

25. Food and Shelter for All. We all have the right to a good life. Mothers and children, people who are old, unemployed or disabled, and all people have the right to be cared for.

26. The Right to Education. Education is a right. Primary school should be free. We should learn about the United Nations and how to get on with others. Our parents can choose what we learn.

27. Copyright. Copyright is a special law that protects one’s own artistic creations and writings; others cannot make copies without permission. We all have the right to our own way of life and to enjoy the good things that art, science and learning bring.

28. A Fair and Free World. There must be proper order so we can all enjoy rights and freedoms in our own country and all over the world.

29. Responsibility. We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.

30. No One Can Take Away Your Human Rights.


Patoranking Signs New Deal With Lagos Marathon 2016

Patoranking Signs New Deal With Lagos Marathon 2016

Award winning dancehall singer, Patoranking has just signed an endorsement deal with Lagos Marathon 2016.
He shared the news on Instagram a few hours ago.
“Signed and sealed…Lagos city Marathon 2016 come let’s run πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒ #Makeam #GOE2016 
#Whayasay!!! He captioned the above photo.

Abacha (African Salad) Recipe.


Abacha  (3 handfuls)

Ugba  (2 cups)

Palm Oil ( 30 cl)

Powdered Potash | 2 tablespoons

Fish (Mackerel/Dry Fish/Stock fish)

1 large Onion

Salt and dry pepper (to taste)

Crayfish (2 handfuls)

2 Stock cubes (Maggi/Knorr)

1 teaspoon ground Ehu seeds (Calabash Nutmeg)

Other seasoning you can add to the Abacha

1 teaspoon Ogiri / Iru (traditional Nigerian seasoning that smells like you-know-what lol)

Other meat and vegetables for the Abacha

3 Fresh Utazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium)

Pomo / Kanda (cow skin)

Garden Eggs (As much as you can eat)

Garden Egg leaves (1 medium bunch)

1 medium Onion (for serving)


1    Prepare the ehu seeds by roasting, dehauling and grinding them with a dry mill.

2    If you will use kanda (cow skin), cook kanda till done and cut into small pieces.

3    Fry or roast the mackerel, soak the stockfish in water and debone the dry fish.

4    Wash and cut the vegetables into tiny pieces.

5    Cut the big bulb of onion into tiny pieces and cut the medium one in circles.

6    Wash the garden eggs and set aside.

7    Grind the crayfish and pepper

8    Soak the Abacha in cold water and rinse the Ugba with lukewarm water.

9    Once the Abacha has softened, put in a sieve to drain.

10  Put the powdered potash in a cup or bowl and pour about 1 cup of cold water.

       Stir well and you are ready to start making the African Salad.

Making the African Salad

1    Pour the palm oil into a sizeable pot.

2    Pour the water from the potash mixture, making sure not to pour the sediments.

3    Stir very well and you'll see the oil turn into a yellow paste.

4    Add the ground pepper, ground ehu, crushed stock cubes, crayfish, diced onions and ugba, then stir very well.

5    Add the iru/ogiri and make sure it is mixed very well.

6    Add the diced kanda/pomo and stir very well.

7    Now add the soaked and drained Abacha and stir till it is well-incorporated in the palm oil paste.

8    Add the sliced Utazi and salt to taste and stir well. It is important that you add salt last because after adding all that seasoning, your Abacha may not even need salt anymore.

If you like your Abacha warm, transfer to a stove at this point and heat it up to your desired temperature at medium heat.

When done, turn off the heat and add the sliced garden egg leaves, stir very well and serve.

If you like your Abacha cold, after step 6, add the sliced garden egg leaves, stir and serve with garden eggs, fish and onions.

Shocker!!! Supreme Court Rules In Favour Of Wike


On 27th of January 2016, the Supreme Court of Nigeria Ruled in Favour of Nyesome Wike.
After the 2015 election which Wike had originally won, the opponent Dakuku Peterside appealed the result as unlawful and thus an election tribunal was held and the result nullified on October 24 2015. A betrayed Nyesom Wike appealed the decision of the tribunal at the Supreme Court. A move most people thought was futile, but the Supreme Court which sat in Abuja, led by Chief Justice Mahamood Muhammad ruled in his favour.
M\Chief Justice Mahamood has stated that he would reveal the reason for his decision on friday

Kogi State inaugurates new governor

Alhaji Yahaya Bello who won the Kogi State gubernatorial election was inaugurated into his office on the 27th of this month. He took his out before the Chief Judge of Kogi Justice Nasiru Ajana and his new Subjects, his deputy Mr. James Faleke was absent at his inauguration.

How to Make OJOJO (Water Yam Balls)

Ojojo is a common delicacy of the southern part of Nigeria made with water yam and with this simple recipe you can enjoy it to.

2 Water Yam tubers
5 atarodo (pepper balls)
1 small red onion
1 garlic
1 tbs seasoning powder
Three cups of vegetable oil

Peel 2 Water Yams and rinse it thoroughly. Then without adding water, blend it. Do not blend it until it is completely smooth, this might ruin the texture.
Wash and add the atarodo sliced onion, seasoning cube, garlic and salt in the blender and blend until the mixture becomes one.
Heat the vegetable oil in the frying pan until it is hot and ready, then reduce the heat to medium.
Scoop the water yam paste and place it in the frying pan, scoop in as many as can comfortably sit in the pan,
When it looks like the underside is ready, turn the balls, and then take them out after they turn light brown.
Put them in a strainer to let the oil seep out before you serve
Now your mouth watery ojojo balls are ready to eat.

Tyra Banks Is A Mom!!!


African American Super Model Tyra Banks Joined the League of Proud Mums on the 27th of January.
She announced on instagram yesterday that she and her husband Asla Erik are now parents. Their son’s name is York Banks Asla, he was born via a surrogate mother
“The best present we worked and prayed so hard for is finally here. He’s got my fingers and big eyes and his daddy Erik's mouth and chin” Banks captioned the Instagram post of a striped baby hat.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hair Care for the Black Girl

One of the major challenges a typical black girl has is her hair not growing fast enough, or not growing at all. We spend a lot on hair products what claim to work yet we see no improvement. Chances are these products are a rip off. But the bigger reason is because we are simply not taking care of our hair well enough.
African weather is hot so contrary to popular belief that the black hair is coarse, black hair is actually week and thin, it is not built to face severe weather and it is curly an breaks quiet easily. Keeping this in mind it will be wise to avoid products that have a negative effect on the weaknesses of the black hair. A stubborn hair is not necessarily a coarse hair, it’s just a hair that curls a lot and is hard to detangle. That is the African hair.
Cut down on how often you shampoo your hair. If you must wash your hair, use a conditioner. Shampoo makes you hair dry. Try to limit shampooing your hair to once in two month, and when you do wash it make sure you replenish your hair with a good conditioner.
Avoid shampoos and crème with sulfate. Sulfate dries up your hair.
Avoid hair cream sulfate and petroleum. Petroleum will make your hair stiff and dry even if your hair is greasy. Try drinking a cover of oil when you are thirsty and see how it feels. This is how your hair feels when she is greased instead of moisturized. Better still, apply all natural oils to your hair like Castor oil, or olive oil.
Avoid heating your hair, the sun already does enough damage on its out. Heat cuts black hair. So limit your use of curling and straightening irons
Avoid tugging or pulling your hair, it ain’t that strong.
Use a silk or satin pillow case when you sleep or wrap your hair in a silk or satin material. This material does not thug or pull your hair even when your toss and turn in your sleep.
Protein is good for building and repairing tissues in your body, It is also good for your hair, it will make it stronger and less prone to breakage and damage. If you don’t have protein treatment, once a month, break raw egg and distribute it a lover your hair. if you have the treatment also use it once a month because too much protein can damage both the body and the hair.
Comb your hair carefully. Start from the tip until you reach the scalp. Be patient when you comb your hair. Plait your hair so you do not need to comb it everyday
If you want to grow your hair try blending onions, spreading it on your hair, leave for 40 minutes then wash it off. Do this once in a week.
Black hair is beautify when taken proper care of.

How to Remember Everything You Read

If you are still in school and reading this then we guess you are having itches with remembering everything you may be that you forget everything you read shortly after reading or you feel that you remember them until you have a test, or you just want to expand to retention ability which is already awesome. Then this tips might just be what you need.

Force your brain to recall what you’ve read
Do this when you do not have a test. This is like giving your brain weight lifting exercise, everybody who lifts weight can testify that their muscles are way stronger than they were when they first started. Read a quote, then try to remember it. See a billboard once then close your eyes and try to recall the exact image you saw on it. If you keep this up recalling will eventually become very easy for you. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t recall it correctly, that is totally normal, it is okay as long as you recall something.

After reading and trying to recall what you’ve read, reread it, even if you feel like you’ve gotten it, re-read it, now try to recall it again. see how easy it has become?

Connect other thoughts and experiences to what you’ve read.
Once you are sure you can recall what you’ve read, connect it to a thought, idea, scenario or event, or anything you feel comfortable with. For example after reading this verse from The Second Coming
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
I’ld go, Turning and turning in the widening gyre, oh what is a gyre, yet the falcon cannot hear the falconer. Why would the falcon want to hear the falconer? Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; what a weak centre. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. Mmm Armageddon, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere. Like the red sea that turned into blood. The ceremony of innocence is drowned. For some reason I’m seeing the dead first sons of the Egyptians. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity, politicians.
You don’t need to remember the thoughts associated with what you read, all you need is to identify what you read with something the association will make it feel very familiar to you.
Now try to recall it again without the association and see how easy it has become
Research shows that your cognitive power is at its strongest when you do not feel tired so do not deprive yourself of sleep
Before you go to bed, reflect on everything you’ve learned for the day.
Follow this simple steps and recalling will become easy once you are in the exam hall.

7 Tips to get rid of Dry, Cracked Heels

Dry heels don't only give discomfort, they also attract pejurious diseases that may escalate beyong immediate control. It is advised that you get rid of your dry heels.
Here are 7 things you should know and do.

Heels will move around in shoes and boots that are too big. This causes friction which forms dry calluses around the ridges and surface of the heels. Make sure your shoes and boots are properly sized so that heels don’t move but at the same time, toes have wiggle room

Wash feet daily with warm, soapy water. Don’t use hot water because it dries out skin. Hot water is also harmful to diabetics and anyone else with impaired circulation to the feet.

Exfoliate the feet, especially the heels, while washing. Use a wash cloth, pumice stone, or loofah and rub the skin gently to slough off dead skin.

Dry the feet thoroughly. Dry well between the toes since fungus and bacteria like to grow in warm, moist, dark places.

Moisturize daily with body lotion. If you feel you need something more emollient, ask the pharmacist to recommend an over-the-counter body lotion that contains urea. Urea is naturally present in skin cells, but in dry skin, urea levels are lower. Using a lotion that has urea increases the skin’s ability to hold in moisture. Avoid moisturizer between the toes. Put on cotton socks.

Foot soaks are relaxing and helpful if done properly. Limit foot soaks to 10 – 15 minutes, 3 times a week. Soaking for long periods dries out the skin. Use a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and enough warm, never hot, water to cover the feet up to the ankles. Mild acetic acid in vinegar softens dry skin. Exfoliate. Dry thoroughly. Moisturize. Put on clean cotton socks.

For an overnight treatment, try the following: massage olive oil mixed with a bit of white vinegar or lemon juice over the feet, concentrating on the heels. Honey is a natural moisturizer so if you want, put some in your mixture. Put on cotton socks. In the morning, wash it off. Exfoliate. Dry thoroughly. Moisturize.

RubyPlus Africa! Who are we?


Who we Are

RubyPlus Africa is an initiative of E-JAY Prime Atlantic Limited (RC 1131015), a registered media and publishing firm whose main goal is to champion the course of African teenagers. It is imperative to note that teenagers are the bedrock of every nation’s future be it economic, political or social. Teenagers constitute about 32% of the world’s population and about 70% of Africa’s youth population. It has been proven that emerging economies such as China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and India are predominantly driven by youths.

How we Operate

We partner with organizations across the private, public and social sectors in Africa and all over the world to harness and develop the potentials of African teenagers. Our scale, scope, and knowledge allow us to reach out to African teens including the most vulnerable and those living in rural areas. We have functional and relationship expertise as well as breadth of geographical reach with which African teenagers can showcase their talents globally. We are passionate about taking on immense challenges that matter to teenagers in Africa and helping them to overcome these challenges.

African Teenagers are our center-piece. We build their capabilities and leadership skills at every level and every opportunity. We do this to help build healthy relationships, confidence and internal support, get to real issues, and reach practical but lasting recommendations that avail a secured future for African teenagers. We bring out the potentials of the teenagers to fully participate in the process and lead the ongoing work of bringing out the best in them.

We achieve all these through our core operations: Publishing of RubyPlus Magazine; Events Organizing; Counselling; and Promotion of African Culture and Tourism.
RubyPlus Magazine gives African teenagers a competitive edge through the platform that we create. They will also constantly identify with their different purposes by learning how other successful teenagers in Africa and other parts of the world transformed their societies and what they can do to be the next pride of Africa.


To reposition Africa by securing today the future of African teenagers through developing their potentials.

Our Target Audience

Our Target Audience are Teenagers, Parents and Guardians.

The Secrets of Successful Students


10 Tips for Becoming a Successful Student

Successful students have good study habits. They apply these habits to all of their classes because they are the fundamental strategies that can maximize their chances of getting the most from each class and increase their "academic endurance."

Go ahead, read about each study habit. Work to develop any study habit you do not have.


To Become a Successful Student,

1.    Try not to do too much studying at one time.

If you try to do too much studying at one time, you will get tired and your studying will not be very effective. Space the work you have to do over shorter periods of time. Taking short breaks will restore your mental energy.

2.    Plan specific times for studying.

Study time is any time you are doing something related to schoolwork. It can be completing assigned reading, working on a paper or project, or studying for a test. Schedule specific times throughout the week for your study time.

3.    Try to study at the same times each day.

Studying at the same times each day establishes a routine that becomes a regular part of your life, just like sleeping and eating. When a scheduled study time comes up during the day, you will be mentally prepared to begin studying.

4.    Set specific goals for study times.

Goals will help you stay focused and monitor your progress. Simply sitting down to study has little value. You must be very clear about what you want to accomplish during your study times.

5.    Start studying when planned.

You may delay starting your studying because you don't like an assignment or think it is too hard. A delay in studying is called "procrastination." If you procrastinate for any reason, you will find it difficult to get everything done when you need to. You may rush to make up the time you wasted getting started, resulting in careless work and errors.

6.    Work on the assignment you find most difficult first.

Your most difficult assignment will require the most effort. Start with your most difficult assignment since this is when you  have the most mental energy.

7.    Review your notes before beginning an assignment.

Reviewing your notes can help you make sure you are doing an assignment correctly. Also, your notes may include information  that will help you complete an assignment.

8.    Tell your friends not to call you during your study times.

Two study problems can occur if your friends call you during your study times. First, your work is interrupted. It is not that easy to get back to what you were doing. Second, your friends may talk about things that will distract you from what you need to do.  Here's a simple idea - turn off your cell phone during your study times.

9.    Call another student when you have difficulty with an assignment.

This is a case where "two heads may be better than one."

10.  Review your schoolwork over the weekend.

Yes, weekends should be fun time. But there is also time to do some review. This will help you be ready to go on Monday morning when another school week begins.

These ten study habits can help you throughout your education. Make sure they are your study habits.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Public Transportation Etiquette


Public Transportation Etiquette
Anyone who lives in a big city has to deal with public transportation, so make it the most positive experience possible by showing good manners – even when others don’t. There is no point in mirroring bad behaviour. Try to remember that when someone else is rude, you probably won’t have to see that person again after you get off the train or bus, so there is no point in making things worse with confrontation.
Passenger Traffic
Follow basic traffic rules by staying to the right side as much as possible. This includes hallways, stairwells, and other areas where there is a constant flow of foot traffic. If you must pass someone, try to do it on the left, as you would in a car.
Transportation Fare
Have your fare ready before you board public transportation. No one wants to wait for you to dig through your pockets or handbag for the correct change. If you can’t find it quickly, let others board first. Next time you’ll be more prepared.
Get out of the Way
When you board a bus or train during rush hour, get out of the way so others can board behind you. Blocking others can create a logjam, anger others, and maybe even cause injury. If you are traveling during “off” hours, give other passengers as much personal space as you can without being awkward.
Getting off may be difficult if you have been pushed to the back or centre of the train or bus because you’ll have to squeeze past everyone who boarded after you. Once you get close to your destination on a train, start moving toward the exit so it won’t be so difficult. Most people understand what you are doing, and they’ll let you by. In larger cities, it is acceptable to holler that you are getting off a bus so the driver won’t continue forward.
If you are close to the door, and someone else is trying to disembark, move to the side and let him or her by. You might even have to temporarily step off the bus or train, but do it quickly so it doesn’t leave without you.
Be a Lady or Gentleman
Always show good manners while riding public transportation. Showing lady-like or gentlemanly behaviour shouldn’t be reserved for office and home. When you see someone struggling with mobility, stand up and let the person have your seat, offer assistance, and get out of the way if necessary. An older person, pregnant woman, or disabled person has just as much right to respect on public transportation as you.

Gbegiri Soup

Gbegiri Soup




·         Brown Beans

·         1 small smoked Mackerel/Titus

·         1 tablespoon ground crayfish

·         1 big stock cube

·         1 cooking spoon palm oil

·         Pepper and salt (to taste)

Directions :

Step 1 - Take your brown beans as you wash , peel and soak it into a sizeable pot. Pour water to cover the beans and start cooking at medium heat.

Step 2 - While the beans is cooking, prepare the Ewedu Soup which is used to eat the Gbegiri Soup.

Step 3 - Cook the beans till they become so soft that it practically melts when you mash it with your fingers. This takes about 1 hour. You will need to top up the water from time to time but make sure the water is always at the same level as the beans. This ensures that you have just the right amount of water in the soup when the beans is done.

Step 4 - Mash the very soft beans with a potato masher. You can also blend it with your kitchen blender for a very smooth consistency. I do not like pouring the hot beans into my blender then pouring it back into the pot after blending. And it is not practical to wait for the beans to cool down, blend it and then continue cooking!

Step 5 - When you are happy with the smoothness of the beans, add the smoked fish, salt, pepper, crayfish, stock cube and palm oil.

Step 6 - Cover the pot and cook at medium heat for about 5 minutes or till the oil blends with the rest of the ingredients. This is when the oil changes from red to yellow.

 Make sure that you stir from time to time so it does not burn. And there you have it, your beans is ready to be served.

Must Haves Items For Every Girl’s Woredrobe

One of the major challenge every girl faces is the “What do I wear!!!” Dilemma and as you already know, we at Rubyplus Africa care. So we’ve put together a short list of must haves, which will ensure that you always have something to wear. Here we go...
A White Tee – Because white goes with everything
A Black Tee – You got the white, you might as well get the black
A striped Tee – It will go great with your plain pants and skirts
A little Black dress – With your accessories you can always give this dress a new look
A Simple Maxi Gown – This is time saving
A Pant suit – Sometimes you just don’t want to wear a top and a pant
A plain Skater – It goes with almost every type of blouse
A Church skirt – Yup, Look like the good girl that you are on Sundays
A Skinny Jeans – Perfect for outings with your friends
A Comfy Jeans – For when you just don’t feel like confining your legs
A Button down long sleeve shirt – For when you need to look corporate
Leggings/Jeggings: You will need this if your tops are short
A Fitted blazer: For when you need to look serious and hot at the same time
Neutral cardigan: To look cool in the cold
Pajamas: To sleep like a baby
Sweat Suit: To sweat in. Duh? You need something cute to exercise in.
A Red Flat shoe – Believe it or not, red shoes go with everything
A Black or Brown Ankle Boots – It goes great with everything, even your maxi dress (If you can pull it off)
Sandals – Sometimes you just don’t want to wear a shoe
Statement necklace – They can make a simple attire look exquisite
A nice watch – A girl should always know the time (In style)
Pearl bead – Pearl make everything look exotic
A Flip Flop – Cuz you need to walk aroung
Shades: Cuz you’re the man
Expensive shoe: For when you need to arrive in style

Monday, 25 January 2016

Arida - The Beautiful One!

My name is Chareeta Femoti. I come from the beautiful land of Batoi located in a hinterland in Africa. A land full of luscious greenery with undulated landscape moving up in spiral shapes also filled with clear crystal rivers, brooks and streams gushing and rushing down the hills like beautiful beads dotted around the very neck of the land. If my land was a woman, she would win the hearts of the strongest of men who would be in awe of her rhythmic moves.

Family life in Batoi consists mostly of an extended family setting. I come from a family of four, made up of my father, mother, I and my only brother, Takki. My grandma, uncles, aunties and cousins all make up for the extended family at large. My father is an upright, loving and caring man who made sure we were well provided for. Papi Nbogo, as we children fondly called him was an international gold merchant in his hay days. He had interactions with different people from different walks of life. This greatly influenced his outlook and behaviour and that earned him the nickname Otamienmien a name that means ‘Whiteman’s friend’ in my land. He also gained their love and respect.

My mother, Mami, was also a very good mother not just to her children but to others as well. She would sometimes send me to the river to fetch some water for the white-bearded Kogbesu – a lonely old man whose life was becoming miserable. She was a gentle and considerate woman, who took time to teach me and my brother how to live good lives. Mami was somewhat a disciplinarian but she always allowed us to play and do things with our peers, Mami would call it part of growing up! She played a big role in my life by ensuring i continued my education in the United States when strong pressures was on my Papi Nbogo to give me out in marriage early in life. Oh! I particularly love Uncle Metubo – he knows how to gain my attention with that well-peppered bush meat of his.

Now allow my bleeding heart to wander away from my old story. The story I am about to share with you is the story of my best friend, the Beautiful Arida, Oh! I forgot to mention her earlier –  It was a deliberate omission. She made life in Batoi a more memorable one!
The Beautiful One, as Arida was lovingly called by all. She was popular yet very cool headed. A well behaved, respectful and very industrious young person. Why so much praises of my friend huh?  Well that’s Arida, every mother’s dream child. When Arida lost her parents at the age of four, she was raised by her uncle, Baba Sabe whose wife, Luiwe never really loved her for a day.
It was saddening that Arida, of all people could be given out in marriage just like that, at such tender age of fourteen. I and other young girls in our community withdrew to our shells knowing that such a fate awaited us in the near future. Only God could predict who was next or who would eventually escape.

Believe me; Arida had the kind of beauty we all craved for. Her inner and outward beauty shined for all to see. She was a loving and tender-hearted young woman, who had always been a role model to us. She was a good example in the entire village of Batoi. Mothers would sometimes compare their children to Arida as if she was out of this world. When she was given out in marriage, her absence was not only felt but it also created a vacuum no one has been able to fill. Her sudden departure from Batoi sparked off indiscriminate giving off of young girls in marriage early in life.
So many of my friends towed the same path Arida trailed. Some of which their stories are not worth telling at all without tears rolling down one’s cheeks. Is it the cases of maternal deaths during child deliveries? Still -births?  Oh! My heart bleeds for these unfortunate ones. Likewise, the ones who survived through child birth seemed to be going through serious emotional problems, there have been cases of battery, rape and confinements to mention but a few.
Though I had lots of friends in my growing up years Arida still remains my closest friend. We played, sang, danced and also helped do each other’s chores. In fact we were inseparable, we were seen together almost everywhere.

Time flies as they say, I left Batoi in a rush as result of Mami having first-hand information from Papi Nbogo that he was being pressured to give me out early in marriage.
It was Mami  who came to my rescue when it looked like Papi Nbogo would eventually succumb to the wish of his kinsman, she discreetly arranged with her eldest sister who came to Batoi and eventually took me to the United States under the guise that I was to attend her daughter’s wedding at my maternal village.

My return to Batoi years later was an official one, as I was amongst the band of reconstructive surgeons sent to Africa and particularly the Batoi region hence I was selected. As I entered the theatre with the other doctors to start operating on the next patient I was shocked to my bone marrows! How could I not remember that distinct birth mark the one I always admired on the face of the beautiful one! How could this be happening! So many questions raced through my mind all at once. It took a strong conscious effort on my part to hide my inner turmoil in order not to be replaced by another surgeon. I immediately made up mind that I wanted to be part of this re-constructive process in giving my best friend back a new hope.

Her case was such a sensitive one in that she had had VVF (Vesico Vaginal Fistula) for a long time which was as a result of obstructed labour during child birth resulting from her early marriage.  Also improper treatment and all the substance she took affected her badly. Throughout the whole operation I prayed silently for my dear friend.
The operation ended with a huge success although she still underwent another surgery after a few months, her body was healed and her dignity was restored amongst her people, but the psychological scar was just too much for her to cope. She eventually became distant to people. I believe the major healing needs to take place in her heart.

Arida suffered untold hardships at her husband’s house especially from the hands of the senior wives. They made sure that she did most of the household chores. They claimed that she is much younger than their own children therefore she must do whatever chores she is given without complaining, and that became the order of the day.
She went through hell as the youngest wife. Sex was an exercise she always dreaded, for the pains she felt was beyond pleasure. Arida’s husband Mankol who is a very huge man never cared how she felt though he tried to be gentle but their physical body differences made it a tedious affair for her. It took her a great while to adjust and accept this part of her life. She always wished she had gone to school like I did and that if her parents were alive they wouldn’t have allowed her wicked uncle and his wife to give her out in marriage as a child without even completing school.

The beautiful one went on to tell me of how she was beaten and confined so many times in her room by her husband as a result of false accusations from her seniors and their children. This act contributed to her several miscarriages and when she eventually sustained a pregnancy, she ended up experiencing a prolonged labour during delivery since she did not have any prior knowledge of what it meant for a pregnant woman to go into labour and there was no one with her when it started. She had already fainted by the time the eldest child Beti who usually sneaked in to keep her company came. It was Beti’s scream that saved her life and that of her baby whom she named Komena meaning My Own.

In fact the heavens smiled on her, but her joy was short lived when after the delivery, she noticed that most people started avoiding her. At first they were doing it discreetly but later they couldn’t hide it anymore. All this was a result of the smell of urine and faeces that came out indiscreetly from her body. At first she couldn’t understand what was happening to her.  It was at the point where her loved ones deserted her even her own husband distanced himself from her that the severity of her situation dawned on her that she was really on her own with whatever the name of the disease that has come to plaque her. She cried to a point that the tears ceased coming. The only person who stood by her throughout these trying times was Beti.

Beti who eventually became a nurse was the one who found out about the visiting band of re-constructive surgeons  who treated cases like hers in other countries in Africa. She made frantic efforts that put Arida on the list of those to undergo surgery.
What made those years so unbearable was the fact that her only child was taken away from her immediately her health issue defiled the local medicines. She was left to die; her inability to fight back did a lot psychological damage to her system.
The very fact that her Uncle Baba Sabe gave her out in marriage as a payment for the debt he owed Mankol diminished whatever self-worth she had left. Nguzak the second wife revealed this to her when she came to mock her on her sick bed.

Apart from ensuring that Arida undergoes proper counselling, a particular NGO took interest in her case and efforts are going on to make sure her daughter Komena is found, because since her husband abandoned her he left Batoi and his where about is not known. The child remains the key to her total recovery, for the fear that Komena might pass through the same experience is gradually driving her towards the brink of losing her sanity.

Ha! What a Life!

Rickie Fowler wins Abu Dhabi Championship

The Abu Dhabi Championship ended with American, Rickie Fowler taking home the trophy after winning Thomas Pieter to win the golf championship challenge.
Fowler finished on 16 under after 68 rounds, while Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy tied for third alongside Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Zika virus, a wolf in sheep's clothing

Paris (AFP) - The world's latest health scare is a seemingly minor illness that carries a killer wrapped inside: Zika, the mosquito-borne virus sweeping Latin America, usually lasts less than a week, except when it derails a whole life.
Zika, which resembles a light case of the flu, is often so mild that people don't realize they have it.
But health officials in Latin America say the tropical fever is linked to neurological problems and a surge in microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads. The defect can cause brain damage and death.
The outbreak has led authorities in some countries to urge couples not to get pregnant, while the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned pregnant women to avoid traveling to 22 affected countries.
Here are some questions and answers on the virus.
The virus was first identified in a monkey in Africa in 1947. Its name comes from a forest in Uganda where the first infected rhesus monkeys were found. Within several years the virus had jumped to humans in Uganda and Tanzania, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Like dengue fever and chikungunya, two similar diseases, Zika is transmitted by mosquito species found in tropical and sub-tropical regions: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, or tiger mosquitoes.
- How do I know if I have it? -
In 70 to 80 percent of cases, the disease goes unnoticed. The symptoms resemble a mild case of the flu -- headache, muscle and joint pain, and mild fever -- plus a rash.
Symptoms usually last two to seven days.
- Why are experts worried? -
The disease is suspected of causing two serious complications: neurological problems and birth defects in babies born to infected women. But while there appears to be a connection with Zika, researchers have not definitively confirmed a causal link.
The main neurological complication is Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, causing weakness and sometimes paralysis.
Most patients recover, but the syndrome is sometimes deadly. Cases linked to Zika have been reported in Brazil and French Polynesia.
Microcephaly and other brain deformities in newborns have also been reported, particularly in Brazil. Microcephaly cases in the giant South American country surged from 163 per year on average to 3,893 after the Zika outbreak began last year. Forty-nine of those babies have died.
- What's the treatment? -
There is no vaccine for Zika, and no specific treatment -- patients simply take pain-killers and other medication to combat the symptoms.
The virus is transmitted through mosquito bites, so prevention entails fighting mosquitoes and avoiding contact with them. Health officials recommend covering up, using insect repellant and keeping windows closed or screened.
Authorities have responded to the outbreak by fumigating and cleaning up the standing water where mosquitoes breed.
Authorities in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have advised couples to avoid pregnancy for the time being.
In Brazil, authorities have announced a crackdown on mosquito breeding grounds ahead of the Olympics, which will bring hundreds of thousands of travelers from around the world to Rio de Janeiro in August.
- Where is Zika now? -
The virus was first reported in Africa, Asia and the Pacific before leaping to the Americas last year.
It is now spreading locally in some 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as far north as Mexico. Brazil has been the hardest hit.
Travelers have also brought it back to the US states of Florida, Hawaii and New York. A woman in Hawaii gave birth to a baby with microcephaly after traveling to Brazil.
So far there have been no locally transmitted US cases reported, though the Aedes aegypti mosquito's habitat stretches into the United States.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) says on its website that "there is no evidence of transmission (of) Zika virus in Europe to date and imported cases are rare.
Culled from