Category Archives: Character

Have you heard of HONY?

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About  seven months ago, I saw a very intriguing picture on Facebook.

Turns out it was profile picture for Humans of New York, a blog by Brandon Stanton.

The blog catalogues Brandon’s pictures of random  people on the streets of New York, and he gets them to talk about themselves. Recently Brandon also went on a tour with the UN to wartorn zones like Afghanistan and Uganda, to name a few, and the pictures he posted from there were a real eye-opener. They did more to open me up to humanity and humanity up to me, than endless news articles and documentaries have ever done. Showed me that we are all really just human beings, with our own pains and fears and hopes and dreams, trying to live life as best as we see fit.

My point, this fine Tuesday morning (when I should be working)? We could all do with a little bit of human empathy and compassion.

Can you tell that the holidays make me emotional and sappy? Urgh.

If you haven’t heard of HONY, and you care about what happens outside your own little bubble of a world, check these out:

(website) www.humansofnewyork.com

(twitter)@humansofny

(instagram)@humansofny

Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

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Some people just never learn…

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So, I woke up this morning to this story right here, with a little background from another story here, and immediately my stomach turned.

In resumé, over 15 Cameroonians have been arrested following lengthy undercover investigations, for Medicaid fraud of millions of dollars.

What is it with lazy people trying to give the rest of us Cameroonians a bad name? And what hurts even more is that some of these people are from my ethnic region. Plus, don’t get me started on the revolting shamelessness of using something as vital as healthcare (which people who are actually sick need) to get rich!

Non-Caucasians in general and Cameroonians in particular in the diaspora complain about discrimination, and ethnic/racial profiling, but sometimes we give our detractors the tools to hurt us. Did the Cameroonian community (those who were not directly involved in the scam) not know what they were doing? Why didn’t someone try to stop them? Why do we think that we can complain about corruption in our country, and then run off and do the same in another man’s country?

I think the Cameroonian government should start instituting punitive measures on such people. In addition to their property/accounts being seized abroad, their property/accounts should equally be seized in Cameroon. Crime should not benefit anyone, irrespective of the country. Maybe an extradition agreement should be looked into.

I’m off to tweet the President about it.

*rant over*

Have you heard this story? What do you think can be done to curb misrepresentation of a country (or region) by its people? Should our government play a part, or are they not responsible for what their citizens do abroad?

Something more than bullying…

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As if bullying is not enough to worry about...

As if bullying is not enough to worry about…

*dusts cobwebs* I don’t even say I have a blog anymore, it’s embarrassing that I haven’t posted anything in a while…I’ve got to get out of this rut I’m stuck in.

So blogfam, howz it hanging? Sitting good? Weekend went well? My weekend was fabulous, spent it out of town with friends – plus the AH-MAY-ZING football match between Cameroon and Tunisia (Go Indomitable Lions!) where we whooped Tunisia 4-1 in the qualifier to the 2014 Brazil World Cup just made it even better. Team #237 for life! Did you watch the match? what were you up to? Let me know!

Ok, on to the topic of this post. We all know that bullying is a horrible practice, and when practiced by children in schools it can have lifelong devastating consequences on the victim, and dare I say even on the perpetrator.

However, bullying is increasingly taking a back seat to actual physical violence in schools – case in point? The stabbing of a Lowersixth (aka sixth form/freshman) student by a fifth form student in a popular boarding school in Buea Cameroon, St. Joseph’s College Sasse, yesterday November 18th, following a dispute OVER A PAIR OF SHORTS!! The stabbed student has since been declared dead, and his attacker is under police custody. ‘Sasse’ as it is popularly known is a Roman Catholic institution, and has fostered some of the greatest minds in Cameroon, including a former Prime Minister of Cameroon and countless other persons of repute. Their alumni association, the SOBANS, is amongst one of the most charismatic and popular ones nationwide. So in the midst of all this, what went wrong?

This story has made me sick to my stomach – unfortunately, stories like these are increasingly recurrent. All over the world, students are stabbing other students are stabbing, shooting, beating and maiming their classmates for any and no reason whatsoever. Happens in BHS Buea,Cameroon (yup, happened while I was there), Washington, West Virginia, and elsewhere . This begs the question, what is being done about this increase of violence on teenagers, by teenagers, in schools?

Is it enough for the schools to install metal detectors, perform searches of bags and lockers and report/punish/expel children found guilty of physical violence? Or does the blame lie elsewhere?

I think it does. The parents.

I may not have any children, but I’m around children and young, busy professionals often enough to know that a lot of children are growing up in the hands of nannies, preschool teachers, nursery attendants, grandparents, and a host of other people ill-suited to raising a child with the kind of discipline often required in today’s world. Charity begins at home. How many parents correct their children with corporal discipline nowadays?Your child throws a stone at a classmate in prenursery and gives them a cut on their forehead, and you scream bloody murder when they get suspended etc from school, saying ‘they are children’!! What happened to teaching a child the way they should go, so that when they grow older they don’t depart from it? My mother whopped me well and proper when I was younger (try being the headstrong daughter of a public-school discipline mistress! I was well acquainted with electric cables and branches from guava trees, springy buggers) and I think I turned out pretty great! Forget corporal punishment – if a parent cannot pay enough attention to their sole child or brood of three, how do you expect a teacher supervising a class of 20 (or in the case of my country, anywhere between 40-100) to catch and report signs of such anti-social behavior early enough to stop it manifesting?

I think it is not enough to punish a physically abusive child, especially if this child has already displayed signs of anti-social behavior eg getting into fights, cruelty to animals, etc. The problem needs to be addressed from the root, which is the home they grew up in. Parents also need to be held accountable for the actions of their (especially minor) children. I wish people had only those children they had the time to train, and didn’t just pop them out so they could have a mini-me, or fulfill scripture and populate the earth, or whatever other silly reasons people give for having children.

What do you think? Who’s to blame for the rise in physical violence between children and how can it be stopped?

May the soul of the murdered teenager, Chu Brian Ebelson, rest in peace.

100 Truths about Tiki

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Hiya blogfam! So, I came accross a post by a blogger I follow everywhere (virtually of course,*wink*) @0Toxic, and I loved the idea of his “100 Truths about Toxic“. Of course you know I had to do mine! Seems a fun way for you to get to know me…and honestly for me to get to know myself, right?

Let’s find out who I am then. Catch you on the flip side.

100 Truths

1. Last drink: White wine

2. Last phone call:   My cousin Helen (otherwise known as MaRock)

3. Last text message: My mum

4. Last song you listened to: Tuface’s “Spiritual Healing”. I love that song

5. Last time you cried:  This morning. His fault.

SIX HAVE YOU EVER:

6. Dated someone twice: Thanks, but no, thanks.

7. Been cheated on: Yes. 😥

8. Kissed someone: Yes.

9. Lost someone special: Yes. Seems like too many young people die nowadays. RIP Junior, Rade, and everyone else.

10. Been depressed: Not for long. I avoid negative feelings.

11. Been drunk and threw up:  lol gosh yes. Instant malaria.

LIST FOUR FAVORITE COLOURS:

12. Black

13. Red

14. Teal

15. Rainbow (I know I know, it’s not a colour! but I just love bright colours…)

HAVE YOU:

16. Made new friends:  Not often. Lots of acquaintances though

17. Fallen out of love: Yes

18. Laughed until you cried: Yes. I even peed a little. Oops.

19. Met someone who changed you: Unfortunately, yes.

20. Found out who your true friends were: Yup. The jury is still out on some though.

21. Found out someone was talking about you: What’s not to talk about? *wink*

22. Kissed anyone on your friends list: Yes, but I promise it was during a ‘Truth or Dare’ game.

23. How many people on your friend’s list do you know in real life: About 75%, I guess

25. Do you have any pets: Nope

26. Do you want to change your name: No. Sometimes I wish I had a Hebrew name, but I like the way my purely ethnic names sound different and set me apart.

27. What did you do for your last birthday: Ate cake and drank wine at home with friends. I intend to throw a party this year though.

28. What time did you wake up today:  8:30am. Horribly late for work.

29. What were you doing at midnight last night: Hahahaha. Is this a trick question? Ok. *looks around* I was watching TV.

30. Name something you CANNOT wait for: Childish people to grow up, and Jesus to come already.

31. Last time you saw your father:  Almost three weeks ago

32. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life: Meeting the person referred to in Question 19.

33. What are you listening to right now: The sounds of my colleagues roaming around the office enjoying their lunch break.

34. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom: Yes.

35. What’s getting on your nerves right now?: Or who. My boss.

36. Most visited webpage: *hides face* Facebook.

37. Current city: Douala, Cameroon

38. Nicknames: Madame. Yukie. AY. Ndiep. Obianuju.

39. Relationship Status: Single.

40. Zodiac Sign: I am Leo, hear me roar!

41. Male or female or transgendered:  Female.

42. Primary School:  PNEU Limbe

43. Middle School: Saker Baptist College, Limbe

44. High school: Baptist High School, Buea.

45. Hair color:  Black

46. Long/medium/short: It’s hard to tell with natural hair. I’m guessing medium

47. Height: 1m70

48. Do you have a crush on someone: Not right now. Do celebrities count?

49: What do you like about yourself: My resilience.

50. Piercings: Five. Two in each earlobe, one in my right nostril

51. Tattoos: None… yet

52. Righty or Lefty: Righty

FIRSTS:

53. First Surgery: On my toe. Ask my sister @MischiefCakes

54. First Piercing: As a baby.

55. First Best Friend: And BFF. Nellie Febe Etombi Fokumlah.

56. First Sport you Joined: Lawn tennis. Loved it, was pretty good at it.

57. First Pet: A bird I called…well, bird. It lived under my bed in a cardboard box. Needless to say, its life was short.

58. First Vacation: As a grown-up, which I paid for myself? Last year to the UK. This year I’m hitting Europe. Most of it.

59. First Concert: Church concert. We were big on that in my secondary school.

60. First Crush: David Hasselhof in ‘Michael Knight’. My aunt calls me Mrs Knight to this day -__-

RIGHT NOW:

61. Eating: Just had Senegalese rice for lunch.

62. Drinking: Water.

63. Already missing: My Chocolate Daddy.

64. I’m about to: Get to work.

65. Listening to: The noisy air-conditioning.

66. Thinking about: Who owes me money.

67. Waiting for: People who owe me to pay up

YOUR FUTURE:

68. Want kids: Errm. Most days, yes

69. Want to get married: Yeah, I guess.

70. Careers in mind: International petroleum taxation expert 

WHICH IS BETTER WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX?

71. Lips or eyes: eyes

72. Hugs or kisses: hugs

73. Shorter or taller: Taller. Short people freak me out

74. Older or Younger: Older, always.

75. Romantic or spontaneous: Can I have a nice mix of both?

76. Nice stomach or nice arms: Arms. I like to have a li’l something to poke.

77. Sensitive or loud: Sensitive.

78. Hook-up or relationship: Relationship

79. Trouble maker or hesitant:  Hesitant

HAVE YOU EVER:

81. Drank hard liquor: Yup. Vodka is my poison of choice.

82. Lost glasses/contacts: Had them stolen, not lost

83. Kissed on 1st date: Yeah. We ended up going steady for a while.

84: Broken someone’s heart: I would like to say no, but I’m thinking the answer is yes.

85. Had your own heart broken: Still trying to find the pieces

86. Been arrested: Thank goodness NO!

87. Turned someone down: Yes

88. Cried when someone died: Yeah

89. Liked a friend that is of the same sex: No.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

90. Yourself: Always. It begins with me.

91. Miracles: Yes

92. Love at first sight: You might not know it yet, but it sure can happen. Yes.

93. Heaven: Yes

94. Santa Claus: Mtschewwww

95. Kissing on the first date: Nothing wrong with that but I wouldn’t necessarily encourage it.

96. Angels: Yes.

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY:

97. Is there one person you want to be with right now?: Yes.

98. Had more than one boyfriend/girlfriend at one time?: Hehehehehe. On different levels.

99. Wish you could change things in your past?: Yeah.

100. Are you posting this as 100 Truths?:  Yes. No reason to lie.;)

Whew, that was long! Who next?

These scars of mine

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I’m watching E! News, the ‘Giuliana and Bill’ reality show, *hides face*. It’s the episode after Giuliana has a double mastectomy in her fight against breast cancer, and in explaining her scars to horrified friends, she says:

“I have to live with these scars everyday, but I don’t mind. When I see them, they remind me of a trying period that I have gone through, and that I have overcome.”

Forgive me for being a crybaby, but that brought tears to my eyes. Not only because I also have scars which I can’t run away from no matter how hard I try, but because overcoming is such damn hard business.

Many times in life we pretend that we don’t hurt, we try to hide our pain, to shut down our emotions. However, pain is what makes us human. Emotions are what make us real. Physical, emotional, mental scars may disgust others, and even us, but they represent something that was once living, painful, present, but that we have gone past, that we have gone through. That has healed.

So next time that you look at that horrid scar, that missing limb, think of that trying period, burst into tears at that painful memory, don’t be ashamed to own up to the hurt. Don’t be embarrassed for showing emotion. Be proud of your feelings, because they make you human. Be proud of your scars, because they are your badge of honor – they are proof that you have overcome.

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