The 2016 Review

On the first day of 2016, I set out to achieve a few things in the new year. As I’ve done every year since 2012, I spelt them out here. This time they were:

– Start making wristbands again
– Start writing fiction again and blogging more frequently
– Properly develop my website and move my blog there
– Get my instagram activity back up and kick off certain projects
– Write the exam for a digital marketing course I took in 2015
– And somehow, still travel. A lot.

I reported during my mid-year review how well I was doing – poorly – in the hopes that it would help me hard reset and get my year on a productive track – it didn’t.

  • I haven’t made a single wristband since 2011.
  • I wrote fewer times on my blog than I did last year
  • I managed to move my blog to olatoxic.com but I didn’t develop the rest of the site like I planned
  • My activity on Instagram is pretty much at par with what I managed last year.
  • I neither studied nor took that exam. I’ve kissed the opportunity to earn that certificate I’ll probably never need goodbye.
  • I managed to travel a lot, but not much to the places I hoped – new places.

2016 was beautiful to me. I see people talk about how rough it was for them and talk about how it should come and be going but while I feel bad for them, I’m content with everything this year brought my way.

Of course, having set goals and failing to achieve the majority of them is mildly depressing… however, I’m glad that, erratic human being that I am, I managed to achieve a few other things that I didn’t set out to at the beginning of the year:

Most notably, I painted the mural below, my first ever, and somehow beat the deadline I spontaneously set for myself to do it. I’d dreamed of doing something along the lines after seeing the tons of dope large-format work international and local artists were putting out. And with some ass kicking from friends, I finally made some progress with it.

Another really notable thing I managed to do this year was to conceptualize, shoot and edit a (really) short film I titled Diversity. This came about as the culmination of everything I’d learnt on a visual diplomacy course I took in May.

I was also able to kick off the #30DaysPurposeful project. Every year, throughout January, I host folk in a guest blogging series (just like this one) where we share our hopes, aspirations and dreams for the year. However, I’d never figured out how to help these people (and myself) actually achieve the things they hoped to. Sometime during the 2016 iteration, I finally figured it out – we would host everyone again for a mid-year review session where we all get a chance to review our progress and reconfigure if necessary. That worked out great, I believe, as you’ve seen and read from those who went on to review how 2016 turned out for them here on stories.ng

At work, I managed to put out two issues of Crossroads magazine within a time frame in which ideally, I should have put out three. But that’s something that my predecessor never managed to do, so I’m just going to bask in the euphoria of having done such a good job on those two issues (if I do say so myself) and not beat myself up too much over unavoidable circumstances.

My finances are in better shape that they’ve ever been in my entire life. Truth is, sometimes, I take a closer look and feel I could have done so much better. But then I step back and remember that I moved to a different city last year and had to set up a new apartment. Also, I took on new responsibilities and I’ve been blessed enough to be in a position to give loans and assist financially in ways I couldn’t before. I’m not going to wish I’d said no to friends and family when I had the privilege to say yes. So I’m grateful for that.

All in all, I’ve chosen to not be too hard on myself for how 2016 turned out. Yeah, I made plans I didn’t eventually actualize, but the year still somehow managed to be one of several firsts and for that I’m terribly grateful. I’ll just make a better attempt at making 2017 a more fulfilling one.

Join us as we try to make 2017 more productive by spelling out the things we hope to achieve.

30dayshopeful-17


Pretty Shitty

My brain goes dead sometimes. Like a light switch, it just stops functioning. Sometimes. Worse, outwardly, everything appears to still be functioning properly, and in a sense, it does. But when things are operating normally without instruction from the control room, that’s far from normal or proper.

I said something I shouldn’t have to someone I shouldn’t have. Some details are still mighty sketchy, but the details I did know should have remained with me. But my mouth was disconnected from my brain, you see, and… blab blab blab.

I’ve irreparably damaged three of my friendships now. A budding one, a long time acquaintance and a bond that goes back over 10yrs now. Not to mention what relationships there may be between these people.

And for that, I feel pretty shitty right now.

How I Feel About The LIB/IP Debate

I’m Happy.

Because Linda Ikeji’s blog was finally taken down. I’m ecstatic, in fact, and here’s why…

I’m a writer. An actor. An artist. A photographer. I know the value of my creativity, I gain my daily bread from it. Sometimes, I offer my art for free, not because I consider it worthless, but because I choose to gift it. If someone took my freely given or paid for art and used it to their own gain in any way whatsoever, they are stealing from me.

I may not be able to identify my work that anyone may have stolen (and that’s only because I haven’t bothered to check), but I have more than a few friends who have been affected directly by plagiarism from online platforms and I stand solidly beside them every chance I get. I still remember @StNaija making a big big fuss when Ynaija took a piece from her site without any permission or remuneration and published it, merely crediting her name.

I’m Sad.

That people are so ignorant that they say “At least, she was credited, what else does she want again?” Like say na credit pesin wan chop.

Let me educate you a bit. If you use unsolicited and unapproved content and you directly or indirectly benefit from doing so, you are stealing Intellectual Property.

I’m Grateful.

For @MrAyeDee, who chose to do something about the theft of his intellectual property. We’ve grown lazy as a collective, not getting up to fight for ourselves against the things which threaten our lives daily.

“Someone elso will do it. Eventually.” And thus is it never done.

MrAyeDee shows us that it CAN be done! Justice can be served. Just because the rest of us are too lazy or too busy or not affected enough to do anything about it or don’t know how to go about it and as such, have sunk into despair and hopelessness, doesn’t mean we should remain there. We can have a Hope and pursue it passionately till it yields fruit.

I’m Proud.

Of people like Noble Igwe (of 360nobs) and Uche Pedro (of BellaNaija) and Wale Adetula (of TheNakedConvos) who know the value of talent and reward it in ways people like LIB chose to eschew. They realize that they can easily take advantage of others on their platforms but instead choose integrity and professionalism. They prove that not “everyone is doing it” and they show how it should be done.

I’m Not Naive.

I know none of those people are perfect, but they are the few doing the right things to a large extent and deserve to be celebrated.

I’m Bewildered.

At how people see justice taking its course and say something like “Don’t kick a man when he’s down” or “It’s wrong to rejoice at someone’s downfall”. The downfall of a thief? So because you are not the one being stolen from and you enjoy the dividends from that thievery, it’s suddenly fine for them to carry on? Noted.

I’m Confused.

By the argument by some that MrAyeDee is only out to draw blood for his own gain and thus has no right to bring a case against her. Let’s assume this is true and the man is a blood-sucking leech who has no care for the cause he appears to fight for, but only seeks to line his own pockets with Linda’s loot, does this in any way justify her of her own crimes? Does this suddenly absolve her of her guilt. Ever heard or read the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right”?

I’m Disappointed.

That people who should know better – educated people, enlightened people, people of (seemingly) good moral standing – are supportive of and/or feel sympathy for Linda Ikeji because her source of livelihood (at the expensive expense of many other people) has been taken away from her (perhaps temporarily).

I’m even more Disappointed.

That anyone at all would say “These haters are just jealous of her success” or “It’s because she can afford/has bought a 2014 Range Rover”. The latter one, I find extremely disappointing.

I’m Disgusted.

When someone who is confronted with their wrong doing chooses to say something like “I’m not the only one who’s doing it” or “You’re just jealous of my success” or “I may be a sinner but you also have skeletons in your cupboard”. What happened to owning your shit and taking responsibility for your actions? Where is the remorse?

I’m Livid.

At her idiotic arrogance and ignorance. For many years, she’d been advised and warned to properly structure her business, buy a proper domain name and to stop stealing content. But oh no, these people just want to “chop my (ill-gotten) wealth with me. I shall not pay them a dime!” Her selfishness and greed just had to keep pushing her to this cliff from which she shall undoubtedly climb back over, hopefully, lessons learned.

Falling From Grace

The Nigerian cyberspace is abuzz. It was taken by storm last night with the confessions by a woman of her illicit affairs with her former pastor who pastors a ‘big church’ in the FCT, Abuja. Needless to say, this is going to have a huge ripple effect and you can be sure that this will go from blogosphere, where it started, to social media, which it is presently already on, to the offline media, where the waters will undoubtedly get really murky, and then out into the world. It’s pretty easy to see these are the latter days considering all the scandals that keep rocking the church in general, especially now that ‘big men of God’ seem to consistently be coming under… and falling all by themselves into fire.

I choose not to discuss the details of this particular mess or direct traffic to the blog. Real names are mentioned, personal details shared, the lady’s face is plastered on the background of the blog, lives and livelihoods may be at stake. I would rather not contribute any drops, no matter how little, to that raging ocean. I’ll briefly summarise though…

A lady joins a church but against the advice of her friend, joins the work force of the church after encouragement from the senior pastor himself, who, according to her story, singled her from the crowd. After serving for a while, she goes abroad to further her education, but not before exchanging contact details with her pastor. They keep in touch. He comes into town eventually and invites her to his hotel room and after cajoling and “manipulating” her, gets her to sleep with him… everyday for an entire week. Pastor is married and constantly speaks out against adultery and fornication. When, in confusion, the lady asks how he manages this, he says “I will teach you a level of grace that you don’t understand.”  At some other point, he claims to have dreamt that he saw all that is happening now in a dream and warns her that the bible says “Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm”. Wow. Such effontery. *sigh* Naturally, after this whole episode, the lady is thrown into much turmoil. She speaks to friends, leaders and eventually, someone under whose authority the pastor is supposed to be, and in all of this, the issue is not addressed. She finally resorts to telling her story from the mountain top to the whole world.

Naturally, from the comment section of said post, several believers were concerned for the salvation of younger christians and how this may hurt their belief. In all honesty, I was tempted to toe this line of thought also, but then had a rethink. The bible does say “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42 KJV. It is easy to push this lady to the side of the fence of one causing others to stumble, sin, go astray, disbelieve and/or leave the church. But then again, she can very easily also be seen as one who has been led astray herself and is dealing with it as best she can. She repeatedly claimed that even though she was not forced and doesn’t believe she was jazzed and even admits complicity in all of this, she was manipulated and abused by a person using the authority they wielded over her. She clearly states she showed no interest initially or leading on to these happenings and did not seduce the man of God. Off course, this all only her very well told side of the story. She also claims to have evidence of all this.

Now, in all of this, I don’t particularly support the calling out from the mountain top, but at the same time, I admit that this kind of treatment is needed sometimes, possibly even in this case. There are too many such situations that end up getting swept under the rug. Yes, this may discourage young believers. Yes, this will provide much unneeded fuel to the church-, christian- and christianity-bashers. Yes, this is not guaranteed to provide much needed closure for the lady in question. Also, at the end of the day, the lady is certain, in this judgmental, largely chauvinistic society of ours, to get the shortest end of the stick.

BUT at the end of the day, there are certain pros despite all the cons. It offers her some sort of solace. It serves as a wake up call to other spiritual leaders who are guilty of these sorts of travesties to repent and change their ways; if not for the potential spiritual consequences, then at least to avoid the disgrace that comes with being called out like this. And most importantly, it serves as a reminder to believers, old and new to be wary in their walk of faith. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” ‎Matthew 7:15 KJV

Perhaps, the biggest issue for me personally about this whole issue is the man of God using and twisting the scripture and bible teachings to perpetuate and defend his misactions. Yes, we are all sinners. And yes, grace abounds, but Paul asks “…Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1&2. I have a serious issue with folk who have an issue with admitting their mistakes or wrongdoing when confronted with them, within or outside the church. I understand that we each have our own flaws and pride might not be as much an issue for me as it is for some, but if we all know just how much trouble and furor can be avoided by just saying “I was wrong.”, “I’m sorry” and “I will not do this anymore”. That last one more to self than anyone else.

I’m not perfect but I’ve found something that works for me when I’m trying to not do the things I’m tempted to but I’m sure to regret later… I think “What will people say?” Many a time, I’ve looked upon a beau and wanted to misbehave, knowing without doubt that my advances will be welcome… And it is the thoughts of the message I have decided to stand for and how that will be affected when the word gets out (which it always eventually does) that have kept me the most. And oh, lest I’m beginning to actually sound self-righteous, I’ve also been in that position and grossly misbehaved, time and again. Indeed, the grace of God abounds. But for how long? Eventually, even the grace of God runs out if continually taken for granted. Will one wait for that time to go in search of repentance and turn away from indiscretion? I choose not to wait for that time. So for me, that is one major way I have ‘kept’ myself. As someone who grew up under and has served in ministry, I would certainly prescribe it to others.

I know one who has repeatedly taken grace for granted and has become a terrible hazard to himself. I can count no less than fifteen friends of mine who he has attempted to ensnare, a number of them concurrently, with “I’m a man of God and God has told me you are the one I’m to marry.” Fifteen girls. And this is no exaggeration. Trust me, I counted. And all these before he even went to seminary, where he’s supposedly at right now. He would even go on to actually date two of them that I know of. And distance is no barrier either. From the UK to the states to Canada to different corners of Naija, bros was/is writing poetry, tweets and blogposts dedicated to and preaching his way into multiple ladies’ hearts. And the modus operandi when he got found out was/is always the same too. He would ‘become remorseful’, break down and cry over the phone, then say “See, I’m crying. I’ve never shed tears for anyone in my life. That’s how much I love you. Only you”. When this doesn’t seem to work, he would cut her off, delete her from twitter and bbm, block her, etc. Sometimes, when he’s anticipating a really big mess, he’d even delete the twitter account he’s using at the time. But this is usually only for a small while before returning when the dust has settled, sometimes with another account. Then when he hears the lady has moved on and is seeing someone else, he would attempt to reconnect and guilt trip her, usually ending up ranting about how she’s a heartbreaker before he cuts her off again. This has happened countless time with countless ladies.

I’ve reached out to bros, he acted remorseful, said he was changing… and then he cut me off too. LOL. And now, I’ve heard from at least two more ladies who he’s been making advances to and using the same ol’ tired modus operandi. *sigh* This leopard and his spots sef. For a long time, I threatened to call him out and was constantly asked by the ladies he’s tried his stunts with not to bother with all the inevitable drama. Apparently, he’s excellent at picking his targets, which I’m guessing is the only reason none of them has called him out yet. I realised though, that the longer no one was calling him out on this issue, the more he went around trying to sweet talk la ladies. This one just don’t stop, does he?

Bros, I sure as heck hope you’re working on yourself and are taking the example above seriously because, in due time, all your hard work and the ministry you’re helping build will come tumbling around you… if you don’t change. I’m not the one who’s going to name you, for now. But apparently, no one having publicly disgraced you is the only reason you keep doing these things, worse still using the authority placed upon you by the ministry in which you serve. A time comes when you will have to be held accountable for your atrocities. I hope you’ll be prepared.

This Is Not A Rant

I’m upset. Can you tell? No?

Okay, I’m upset.

I should probably tell you why, right? Hmmm…

I’ll tell you. Purely out of the benevolence of my heart. I mean, yore dying to know and everything so I choose to now be kind and just spill like I know you want me to. Badly. ( ._.)

I’m in a rut. Again. (This endless battle with this bloody recurring rut sef). With writing and, more importantly, with drawing too. And this combo is horrible because writing and visual artistry are the backbone of my beloved Art Stories. [If you’ve somehow achieved the near-impossible feat of burying your head so deep in the sand that you have no idea what Art Stories is, click here] See ehn, the possibility of this very eventuality is the very excuse I had for not wanting to launch Art Stories when I was supposed to; same reason I even almost didn’t accept when I was first offered the opportunity to run my own column on TNC by @thetoolsman… But that was until I realised this what it truly was- an excuse. Yeah, I can be a legendary procrastinator. Sure, my schedule can be extremely unpredictable- free now, tomorrow, extremely constricted. Sure, I’ll fall into a rut, heck, even a trench every now and then and inspiration might be nowhere to be found to help haul my ass out of the pit… But these are not acceptable excuses for me to not achieve the things I could, and definitely should.

So, I accepted.

And now here I am, stuck. Again!

An Art Story is supposed to go up every tuesday at 4pm. I’m not sure any has ever gone up at 4pm. Well, maybe one or two sha. I’m usually still tweaking or editing or reworking or adding something. In some horrible cases, I’m just beginning to write or draw or design at 4pm *smh*. I sha try to post before 6pm and this usually works out. Usually. Meaning most of the time, not all of the time. Yes, I’m terribly ashamed to admit that every now and again, I completely miss out on posting. Terribly inefficient, I know.

And now, why I’m upset and at whom. I’m upset at myself. Because I have now reached a new low- TWO darned weeks without posting.

And this is not for lack of trying neither. But that’s just an excuse. One that’s unacceptable. Yeah, I had contributors that ought to have delivered and didn’t, but yup, that’s just another excuse (and me guilt tripping y’all. You know yourselves ( -_-).

Why am I beating myself over the head? And why here?

Well, for one, I promised here when I was about to begin Art Stories that I would not abandon this space and promised myself that at the very worst, I would serve something up here once a month. And so, in typical fashion, I’ve saved the best for last left it till the last minute. No, literally, the very last minute. Terrible. *smh pathetically*

More importantly, I’ve learnt, from others and from past personal experience, that one of the best ways out of a rut such as this is to write ones own way out of it. Sounds near nonsensical that one would suggest that the way to deal with not being able to write or draw… is to write or draw. But this has been proven over and again so… *shrug*

And most importantly, I’m beating myself over the head on here as a public reminder to self to do better. TNC 3.0 launches next week. We’ll call this inefficient phase a ‘test drive’, bury the demons, slay the carcasses, pick up the bad attitude and body slam it before heading off into the new era.

Ladies, gentlemen, it is time.

[This post was finished at 11.45pm on the 31st of July, 2013 after which I proceeded to post it… Only to find that etisalat had taken up the N2000 credit I had bought that morning as data rather than renewing the BIS subscription for which I had made the purchase. Imagine, two tauzon, gone just like dat!

I contemplated not putting up the post at all when I was able to, but considering the pungent reasons seen above for which I wrote it at all… Well, you’re reading this now, aren’t you?

I shall however edit the time-published to reflect when it should have originally gone up. Because I can. And to fulfil all righteousness. And cos it makes me feel good. Sue me.]

Idiom Wars

Hey there, Nostalgians… ^_^

Before I get to the meat of the matter… *chuckle* Sorry, inside joke. I’ll share soon enough though. As I was saying, before I get to the main post, I just want to remind y’all to please nominate my friends and I in the Naija Blog Awards in the attached categories:

The Sirkastiq Centre tscng.wordpress.com for Best Humour Blog

TheNakedConvos  www.tncng.com for Nigerian Blog of the Year

Afrosays So http://afrosays.com for Best Collaborative or Group Blog

Omoge Mura www.omogemura.com for Best Fashion or Style Blog

Musings on Music http://lajidwayem.wordpress.com for Best Music Blog

London Letters http://letters4rmlondon.wordpress.com for Best Personal Blog

Yinkus Pinkus http://demorrieaux.wordpress.com/ for Best Faith-based Blog 

Nostalgic Words of Future Me https://olatoxic.wordpress.com/ for Best Topical Blog under the sub-category Inspirational

And for Best Book, Poetry, or Writing Blog, any one of:

Phantom Pages http://phantompages.wordpress.com/ ,

The Sawaleh blog http://sawaleh.wordpress.com/ or

Nostalgic Words of Future Me https://olatoxic.wordpress.com/

Please go to http://nigerianblogawards.com/register.php and use the links (highlighted in blue) to nominate these (and any other) blogs for the awards.

Tenzabunsh! 😀

And now, to the meat of the matter…

Sometime last week, someone and I were having a little convo on twitter that led me to make a statement that ended with “…what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander” I was tempted to then add “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” but I didn’t.

At that point, something struck me for the umpteenth time.

Isn’t it funny how we have all these idioms , sayings and proverbs which on their own are pretty wise but when placed in comparison some of them actually contradict each other, even if sometimes only marginally.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander vs One man’s meat is another man’s poison is one of those examples.

Another example, especially when you look at them from the angle of relationships, is…

Absence makes the heart grow fonder/Familiarity breeds contempt vs Out of sight is out of mind.

Well, following the musing, I decided to have some witty (if I may say so myself :p) fun. I came up with statements/tweets with two or more idioms threaded in to achieve something sometimes contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes insightful, sometimes punny and sometimes, even stupid. I chose to tag them #IdiomWars and well, here they are. enjoy…

How can what’s good for the goose be good for the gander if one size doesn’t fit all?

Feeling under the weather while it’s raining cats and dogs must be really sickening.

Best you hold your horses when pigs fly lest you end up sick as a dog.

I was wondering why the salesgirl was pulling my leg till I found out the pants would cost me an arm and a leg.

Some missed golden opportunities must be worthless in reality seeing as all that glitters is not gold. Sour grapes.

The grass is greener till you end up on the other side and go green with envy at the people who stayed back.

Easier to kill two birds with one stone when they’re of a feather and are flocking together.

A little bird told me about the birds and the bees. I ended up with all my nest eggs in one basket.

The man who is born without a silver spoon is more likely to appreciate the silver linings on cloud 9.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The gander couldn’t lay though, so it killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.

He decided to get his head out of the clouds by trying to wrap his head around them. Yup, he’s lost his head.

Worst time to cast your pearls before swine is when pigs fly.

I took to my heels but she struck my Achille’s heel and had me head over heels. Now she’s got me under heel 😦

These idioms are doing my head in. I think I’ll put my hands down and my feet up now.

And there you have it. So, what did you think of those? Cool? Stupid? Dry? 😦 And if you think you could come up with something better… In fact, anything at all, no matter how silly it seems, go on and have a go in the comment section.

Or are you chicken? /:)

Losing my virginity

Catchy title, eh?

Yeah, I think so too… /:)

This may or may not be a tell-all tale. A few days ago, someone said on a friend’s blog and then on my timeline that all the bloggers just seem to be blogging for shock value now. I know there’s this way all them shocking tell-all tales can make readership, commentaries and subscriptions on a hitherto little-known blog soar. You know, those controversial topics/discussions that have comments in their hundreds on theToolsman’s blog/site? Yeah? Or that post on Terdoh’s blog over this last weekend? (almost 1000 comments!!) Or remember that other slim girl’s post that went on to trend worldwide on twitter, with it’s own hashtag too?! *sprinkling ugwu leaves around* hehehe

Well, what writer doesn’t want some level of exposure and acclaim? And who doesn’t want some level of popularity, at least? The knowledge that there are people who greatly value your words and take them to heart? Who doesn’t want that kind of far-reaching influential ‘power’?…

*sigh*

Well, that may or mayn’t be me. I won’t deny or admit that’s what this is about. You’ll just have to read and find out for yourself. And maybe at the end of this, you can even tell me whether or not this falls into that category.

Now, where do I begin this tale of mine?… The beginning? Ok, fine. Lehgo!

Well, I’ve always been a pastor’s kid. The term actually defined me for a bit, especially back in high school- my nickname in certain circles was omo pastor. For as long as I’ve known, until very recently, my life has been centred around church. I mean, I was born while my father was studying in the seminary and following that, we actually lived within the church premises until I was ten. Now, as expected, virtually everyone in church knew all the pastor’s kids and seeing as church was really big growing up there was almost nowhere I would go where I wasn’t known as an omo pastor. Heck, today I still randomly meet people I’ve never met previously who recognise me from back then or who hear my surname and ask if I’m truly the son of my father. Well, not literally sha, but you get the picture.

Why have I started my tale with this and what’s it got to do with that controversial title? Here’s why. Growing up, due to my ‘omo pastor status’, one phrase I heard more times than I wish to ever remember is: All pastors’ kids are the worst. It always came in different variations but the idea was always the same. And almost always, it came with examples given with dramatic emphasis of some pastor’s kid(s) somewhere or the other who did this or that that even an unbeliever’s kid would never do… *smh*

I’m not here to admit or debunk this theory… What I will say about this though is that I know quite a lot of omo pastor’s who are upright and well behaved, at least, outwardly. And not because of their parent’s ministry either but because it’s who they’ve consciously chosen to be. I personally believe that in describing human behaviour, making blanket statements and using generalisations are unacceptable. That you or someone else knows some pastor’s daughter who got involved with drugs or a bishop’s son who is into yahoo yahoo, doesn’t then mean ALL pastor’s kids are that way, does it?!

Okay, moving on… to me… For as long as I can remember, I’ve been seen as the kid in my family who wanted to ‘escape’. Artistic, adventurous and having a potential wild-streak is how I would’ve been described growing up and so I was the one who was constantly monitored and hawked-over (for whatever reason, I came to the conclusion that it was so I wouldn’t ruin the ‘family image’)… X_x

I wasn’t allowed to go to a boarding school after passing common entrance in primary 5 cos I was “too young/small”. Got admission into King’s College the next year, but ended up a day student all my six years there. Then I tried to get into ABU Zaria in my first Jamb attempt ’cause I heard they have one of the best art schools and got accused of trying to ‘run away’ (I passed but the results of everyone in my centre got cancelled). I ended up getting cajoled to pick Unilag in my next attempt and now I’m a ‘proud’ Unilag alumnus. *sigh* I almost wasn’t allowed to go serve when I was posted to Katsina but… Nah! Me I wasn’t going to stand for that. E don come wan dey too much dat time… Are you getting my drift here? All my siblings, by the way, went to boarding houses far from home. Same thing with higher institutions. Na only me dem tie join wrapper throughout.

It wasn’t until I got into ‘Lag that I truly became free to make (some) decisions for myself. And like a caged bird set free, I revelled in that freedom. Ol’ boi, I did and undid o! Went clubbing for the first time in my life. First girlfriend… Ok, this one was actually really stupid. Lemme spell it out for you:

Day 1: Met chic for the first time through some friends. Pretty girl, I noticed…
Day 2: Hung out a bit with mutual friends
Day 3: Mutual friends and mine who saw us together the previous evening tell me that it’s kinda obvious “…say she dey feel you die”
Day 4: We go clubbing together. It’s my first time in a club ever…
Day 5: I ask her out, she says yes!

5 days, yo! *rolling eyes* Yeah, ridiculous, I know. Especially for someone who’s always been about serious relationships and never been one for flings. Moving on… Joined my first dance group (outside church) in which I danced alongside one very dark-skinned dude called Wande. Amazing dancer he was but he’s now a singer. Back then, he went by the name Black Wand 😉 We acted/danced in our first (and last) movie, Tunde Kelani and Mainframe’s Campus Queen. Landed my first major role in a tv soap that same year… You sha get the drift of “I revelled in my freedom”, shey? Ehen…

I bet at this point, people be wondering so what has all this got to do with the title and when do we get to the juicy stuff nah?! Cool ya blood jor! Baby steps, yo, baby steps…

Okay, let’s fast-track things a bit. Present-day. I came on twitter actively about february this year and one of the things I noticed was the edginess… the near-raw sexuality of a lot of the terrain. Lotsa weird twit pics, hashtags and twitter lingo almost had me running scared again but I decided that I was finally going to just stick it and make some sense out of the madness, and maybe even get something positive out of it. It’s how I was exposed to the work of some amazing and talent writers which then inspired me to start this here blog of which I’m very proud… Oh, I deviate again? Sorry…

The sexuality, abi? Okay. Well, I saw/see people talking a lot about sex and stuff with frankness and honesty and I was like Ok, cool, whatever makes you happy. But when I started seeing people bashing my personal choice of sexual orientation, I thought it was sad, real sad. And perhaps needed to be addressed and that there is largely why I’m writing this post.

You see, we live in an era where the opinionated people with the ‘biggest’ voices seem to dictate the way the rest of us ‘little people’ live our lives. Peer pressure is evident everywhere around us, some positive, more negative. I can’t even have an unpopular sexual preference without being judged and bashed on anymore. And so, I’m writing this post to stand up for what I believe in. I’m not trying to shove it down anyone’s throat o, neither am I trying to put anyone who doesn’t subscribe to my decisions or preferences down. I’m just here to state who I am and ask that you accept me and the other people like me without judging me/us. Same as we have (largely) accepted everyone else.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am unashamedly, and entirely by choice, a virgin

I made the decision to ‘keep myself’ until marriage a long time ago, sometime during my teens. It was a conscious and well thought-out one and seeing as I’ve decided to put myself out there like this, I owe anyone reading this the truth about why… I chose this path according to the convictions of my faith. I’m a christian.

I’m a firm believer in To each, his own… and like I said earlier, this is not about putting anyone with contrary opinions down and so I choose to not continue along ‘religious’ lines in this discourse so as to respect people with different beliefs within and outside my faith.

I will say this though, staying this way has been entirely by God’s grace. I’m a proper open-eye omo-boy. I know wassup weller. I’m not claiming to be a saint here. I’ve been in relationships before and I understand the phrase Body no be wood. I’ve had my fair share of near-misses. There’ve been times where it really wasn’t by my will that I didn’t follow through on well-laid plans (not necessarily mine o) and so, I repeat, it’s entirely by God’s grace in my life. I say this moreso because I realise there are people who are not virgins, not because they don’t believe in the concept or decided they wanted it so, but because that decision was made on their behalf, in a lot of cases, forcefully and I commiserate with any such.

In conclusion, I’m coming out to say this as testimonial to the fact that it is definitely possible to be cool folk today with no deformities socially,physically, psychologically, physiologically or emotionally and still be virgin or celibate. The default reaction I get when I tell people I’ve never had sex is Yeah, Right!! However, I personally know many, many people like me who are likeable, correct people, well accepted by society who have remained virgins by choice. They would not all declare it to the whole world like this because they deem it unnecessary. I, however, am of the opinion that too many young ‘uns today make the decision to do away with their virginity like a soiled diaper out of the misconception that everyone is doing ‘it’ or that if you aint doing it, you must be some kinda weirdo. They need to know this, that You don’t HAVE TO be that way if you really don’t want to and that Not everyone is doing it

After all, I’m not.

I am OlaToxic and I’m unashamedly and purposely a Virgin