Yara Blog

In Name or in Deed? – The Selectiveness of Nationality

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013  


The shockingly heinous crime recently committed in broad day light on a London street by two black men is an unacceptable atrocity that has, however, generated an interesting dimension about our perceptions of nationality and citizenship.

The main perpetrator of the crime, a British citizen, Michael Adebolajo, was widely depicted in the British and international media as being a “British-born person of Nigerian descent”, resulting in vehement protests by the Nigerian community in the UK.   Their argument is that Adebolajo is a born and bred Brit – he was issued a birth certificate in the UK and holds a British passport; therefore, his name does not confirm his nationality.  These Nigerians in the diaspora are obviously worried about the negativity that can be easily generated if other British citizens associate such barbaric behavior and inhumane cruelty witnessed in this crime with other persons of Nigerian or African descent.

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Saturday, February 23rd, 2013  



The phrase `we are happier than our forefathers` has never been truer than it is today. Drawing from the tail-end of the 20th century to the rays of hope that brightened the 21st century, the planet called earth has enjoyed a significant improvement in culture, thanks to innovative technological developments by Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, yahoo, Google, MySpace, Word press, and gadgets like the blackberry, Ipad, IPhones, amongst others, which have heralded the development of Information Technology. The works of Bill Gates, Larry Page, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Mark Cuban etc, have undoubtedly made life better for the lot of a significant percentage of the world’s population. Information is now better transmitted to a larger audience with minimal effort, surprisingly, at the speed of light. Reaching out to people across the poles via social media networks, reuniting lost friends and creating new acquaintances have become the norm of the day. Business transactions are now effected more quickly and with minimal risk. Online purchasing has opened a phase in the marketing world where buyers and sellers need not necessarily know or meet each other, and this by no means diminishes transactional efficiency. All these and many more are the beauties of the novel concept of Information Technology.

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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013  

I wake up in the morning and the first thought on my mind is the dishes left unwashed from last night’s dinner. Then I think of the fact



that the pump where we fetch our water from is two streets away. I’ve walked that path so many times I could do it blind-folded. And I mustn’t forget that my youngest brother must go to school sporting a properly ironed uniform and with his homework completely, if not completely correctly, done. And then, ‘oh my goodness!’, I’d fallen asleep researching materials for my term paper which is due in two days. Great! These, more often than not, are the waking thoughts of the average African girl child, at least the one lucky enough to be in school.

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The Mystery Behind a Handshake

Thursday, February 14th, 2013  


Ever since I was young, there was something about when a person stretched out their hand to join the hand of another person that fascinated me. For so long, I did not know why people ‘joined hands’, but I figured that it was just something you did when you met



someone. I asked myself whether it was mandatory; I also wondered whether it would be rude to reject a handshake. After some study and research on the gist behind a simple handshake, I have discovered that there is more to it that meets the eye. Generally, some say that it is a custom, a mere convention carried out by people. Others say that there is science behind a single handshake, and those who read body language see a lot of importance in a handshake. Some secret societies, like the Masons, use them to identify apprentices and members of their society. Here is some insight on what I discovered.

Historically, the joining of hands can be traced back to Ancient Greece, as far back as the 5th century BC, where it was originally thought to symbolize peace, as both hands were not holding weapons. In modern times, it has been associated with good first impressions, especially in the business world. Ladies engage in handshakes in the work place as a sign of gender equality, while they may offer their fingers for a kiss in social gatherings.

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“Give Us Our Corpse”-The Legal Ownership of Corpses.

Thursday, September 20th, 2012  

It all started with the much criticised University of Lagos (UNILAG) name change, and the fact that I had to keep away from school (on

What is in a name?

mum’s instruction). I considered it embarrassing for me to be tongue- tied if anyone asked me about the situation of things in my school, so I vowed to buy a newspaper once every two days ( because I knew I couldn’t win the battle as to whether to listen to the news on the TV or watch a soap opera). I did this religiously for the first two weeks, after which I discovered that the stories were all the same, the only difference each day being the character and/or location.

 After catching up on the news on UNILAG, I usually just dropped the paper in my bag, and waited for the perfect time to turn the rest of the pages looking for a captivating story. In the National Mirror of Wednesday, May 30, a caption on page 50 on the column for Community Mirror particularly caught my attention; it read: “Family accuses hospital of stealing corpse”. The story was about the claim of a family that when they requested for the body of their late sister/ wife, the morticians presented a corpse which did not have any semblance with that of the deceased. The matter was reported to the police who promised to investigate, but the family insisted that no way would they rest until they got the body of their late relative.

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THE RAPE CHRONICLES – Rape A Gender Question?

Friday, August 17th, 2012  

There are not many criminal acts as invasive, as degrading and as traumatizing as the act of rape. The victim becomes scarred for life, and many times, ends up with significant psycho-sexual challenges. It was conceived to be so reprehensible in the old days that the Law of Moses in the Old Testament of the Bible stipulated that the rapist be put to death. (Deut.22:25-26).

Rape is simply defined as non-consensual sex. But, in that definition lies the error of simplicity. It certainly raises more questions than it answers. What if the victim “invited” the non-consensual sex, perhaps by her dressing or her attitude? What if she didn’t struggle or cry for help?  What if both parties were drunk? What if the “rapist” heard yes when the victim was really saying no? What if she was not particularly forced, but was only emotionally coerced? Or financially coerced?

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Poverty Stops with Us…

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012  


Some weeks ago, I took a walk through a community about 20 kilometres from my university campus. A partner of a non-profit organisation, ‘Poverty Stops Here’, who works with another international non-profit organisation called ‘Hands at Work’, invited me and some of my colleagues to come along on a visit to the community. It is normal for well-to-do people, the rich, living in the “choice areas” of a poor country like Nigeria, to face the challenge of understanding that they actually live amongst poverty. As we walked past street after street, looking more like waste dump sites, I felt a sense of hopelessness creep over me, not only because of what I was seeing but also because I knew that this community did not even represent the poorest of people in Lagos.

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