Introspection: Necessity or Passion?


I pushed my phone off the bed as my ever trusty alarm went off by 5am.

‘It can’t be morning already’, I groaned in protest as I placed a pillow over my head and instantly went back to sleep again.

‘Uju’, dad called out, ‘aren’t you going to work today?!’

‘I am’ I responded part mutter, part hiss. In a quick motion, I tossed the pillow off my face and flipped to my back staring at the ceiling.

Casting furtive glances at my wardrobe, I wondered what I was going to wear to work, while halfheartedly paying attention to the honks of vehicles of the early risers who I believed were in a hurry to beat the traffic already building up on the highway. It didn’t matter; I could always catch the bus afterwards.
With a sigh, I asked myself the same question that had plagued me for weeks now, ‘Why am I doing this?’

Some 592 days ago, fresh out of school, I walked into the labor market filled with expectations. I had a list of everything I wanted my place of employment to be:
1. Fun. A place I wouldn’t mind spending long hours working, with nice friendly colleagues.
2. Challenging and Competitive. Because nothing fuels your drive like healthy competition.
3. Educative. I aim for bigger things, and having smarter people to learn from would be a huge plus.
4. Paycheck. Oh that has to be pretty decent.
5. Social. Inasmuch as I’m a closet introvert, I do like to communicate with people. It’s all about networking.
6. Happy. This is the ultimate goal. Looking back and being proud of your life’s work.

I had it all worked out—in my head at least. So armed with a degree, dream and passion, I was set to take on the world. I submitted application letters to various industries—telecoms, consumer goods, banks, audit firms. For months I tried and nothing gave. Then gradually I sunk into depression like many others before me had; like many others after me would.

I figured I’d give it one more shot, and I did. So here I am a year and three months after asking myself, ‘why am I doing this?

‘Well, you were bored with being at home while all your friends went to earn a living daily’ I said to me.

‘But why this?’ I asked again, ‘why not telecoms? You had an offer there.’

‘Yeah, I had an offer AFTER I had this offer’. It took so long, but it would have fit if I had just decided to go there rather than stay.

‘Why then didn’t you go?’

‘Because this had better prospects in the long run’. There I said it. This here was really the summation of why I had chosen to be an auditor and not a Call Centre agent, or Administrative Assistant of some sort. At least that is what I thought. Now I wonder, could I have been wrong about everything?

Life is difficult without guidance.

I’m stuck day after day groaning at each blast of a car horn indicating daytime. It’s not that I hate my job, No far from it. I do it quite well and it almost perfectly fits my list. My Co-workers are great; I meet people on a daily(or monthly) basis; I’m learning fast and competition’s healthy—by this I mean ‘not choking’. But it seems I missed out on the ‘Happiness’ bit. I’m not happy, I am just bored brainless. Have any idea how annoying it to spend every single day of the week doing the same things? It’s death I tell you. I could walk-through this routine with my eyes close.
Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s nothing more boring than constantly following a pattern. It’s no wonder people try to break away from tradition.

Tradition is boring. Patterns are boring. No spontaneity? BORING.

I believe there are people called to fill a particular spot in certain industries, but now I feel I may have been in a hurry to take this. I’ll also place my bet on a good 50% of employees doing jobs they’d rather not be engaged in.
It’s just a messed up economy we find ourselves, where we choose our career paths based on the availability of opportunities to grow and excel; while those brave enough to fight against the odds choose to go with their passions.

Passion trumps Necessity. I know that now.

If I have a chance to make things different, I will take it. This I’m sure of.


10 Bizarre Animal Mating Rituals

From handing out flowers to serenading and the dazzling display of colours(and money of course), the mating ritual is as old as time itself.
Some rituals go from awww inspiring to horrendously weird. And of course, the outcome which we all hope will be awesome sex don’t always end nicely.
So here are some utterly bizarre animal mating rituals that will leave you gaping;

1. Bonobono:
                This primate closely related to humans are known for their social behaviour. They live in fission-fussion social groups whose societal structure revolves around sex. Their bedroom antics however go beyond mating; sex is used as a form of greeting, means of solving disputes, favour in exchange of food, and making up for fights.
They tongue kiss, engage in oral sex, mutual masturbation and face to face genital sex.
I’m not quite sure why this big guy is really excited, but one would think all that mindless copulation would get boring. On the flip side, the human society could pick a leesson from this: violence is not the answer, why don’t we just have sex?


2. Giraffe:
            With their ridiculously long necks, mating is hard work for  the male giraffe. Males wander from herd to herd looking for females in estrus; when he finds one, the male begins to nudge the rump of the female to induce unrination. He then takes this urine in his mouth and decides if it’s good enough. If the female passes the urine test, he decides she’s ready to be courted. This ritual is called the fleshman sequence. But since Giraffes are non-territorial, succesive males will mate with a receptive female–which roughly translates to following her around like a mumu(flea) till she lets him tap it.


3. Flatworms:
              Due to their haemaphrodite nature and because Jesus frowns on fertilizing one’s own eggs, flatworms have to combat to decide who carries the baby. They literally whip it out and engage in  what is called penis fencing(briefly imagine using an erect penis as a sword)in a way that will leave gladiators green with envy–winner becomes whoever succeeds in ‘stabbing’ it in and depositing sperm.


4. Banana Slugs:
                     With a 6inches penis–which is twice their body length– this little guys are endowed in ways some animals can only dream of(like the Silverback Gorilla). But certain endowments come with downsides. To mate, slugs find a partner of about the same size, then each proceeds to penetrate the other. In a situation where there is an ‘accidental’ pairing and a penis is stuck in coitus, nature has found a way to remedy the situation without spending medical bills: chewing. You read right. The receiving slug chews off the offensive baggage to save himself the problem of dragging a 6in load around.


5. Porcupines:
                 Just like the long necked mammal, our prickly friends appear to have a thing for urines. The male porcupine from a distance drenches a potential female lover to test her willingness and readiness. If she likes the urine, she bares her non prickly underside to him. Spiky can then have the time of his life without permanently impaling his manhood.



6. Red sided Garter Snake:
                            If there was ever a definition of orgy, this is it. The garter snake goes into hibernation in a large group….and by large I mean some 30,000 snakes. At the end of hibernation, they emerge in some kind of sexual frenzy that is sparked by a lone female who wanders in their midst and releases pheromones. Every male then rushes to hump her and strangely enough each other should their effort prove abortive. To take weird to a whole new level, some males even go as far as emmitting what I would probably call decoy pheromones to get humped! Now that’s downright dirrrrty and freakish.


7. Whiptail Lizard:
                      I don’t know how they managed to do this, but this specie from New Mexico only comprises of females. How do they reproduce, you ask? Asexually. When it’s time to mate, the females engage in a ritual dance by acting out the actual procedure of copulation. Strangely enough it stimulates reproduction and the offspring becomes an actual clone of the mother. Who’s the mother, you might ask again? Well, every season the females alternate on who plays the male. You’ve got to give it to them, these lesbo Lizards have it all figured out.


8. Hippopotamus:
                      It’s difficult to comprehend why an animal as butt ugly as the Hippo would do something extremely worse than peeing on a female to attract her.
When an adult male is ready to mate, he shits himself. It doesn’t end there….he then swings his tail in a circular motion to spread the shit so the smell travels further. Apparently the stinkier the poo, the greater the probablility of getting a female. For some reason only known to the Hippos, the females find the smell of poo attractive.


9. Bed bugs:
              In a ritual that can only be classified as serial rapist extraordinaire, the male bed bug in a bid to bypass the stress of courting stings the female and leaves her temporarily immobilised, leaving him to do his business. They’ve even got a fancy name for this: traumatic insemination. It’s however uncertain if it’s traumatic because the female is paralysed, or because the stinger also happens to be the penis.


10. Angler Fish:
                     Scientists often wondered how the female Angler fish reproduced since they had never seen them mate before. Luckily we don’t need to worry about the answer anymore.
At maturity, the male Angler fish become totally useless to himself–his digestive system collapses meaning if he wants to live, he needs to find a host body. Quickly, he finds a female unto which he attaches himself in a shameless show of clingy wussification and literally lives off her. With time the rest of him withers away leaving only a small hump on the back of the female, which fertilizes her eggs when she is ready to reproduce. This way, the Angler fish’s manhood lives on.


Do you know of any bizarre animal mating ritual not listed here? Please share it, or write about it and link back.  




Introspection: Blurred Lines


Dear God,
I should start by saying thank you, shouldn’t I? For the things done of which I know of, and those I’m totally clueless about. So, thank you.
I am addressing this to you because there really isn’t anyone else I can tell this who will make a remarkable difference.

See, you gave me this really great personality. You know the kind that morphs and shifts all the time so it’s easier to relate with different kind of people? And a mind like a sponge. I can soak up a lot of information–sometimes I’m not even aware it’s happening, then everything comes tumbling out when they’re needed, and I’m like “Holy smokes! I know this?” But you know all these already, don’t you? You know everything.

You know the circumstances surrounding my birth. You know how a blissfully happy, ignorant childhood was ripped off. You know how hard I have had to struggle with knowing you, getting really angry with you for letting all those things happen–not just to me, but the people I love–and you know my anger was outright fueled by the fact that the lives of these people I cared about affected me in more ways than one. See? You made me like this, and I’m not sure what to do with it.
So I change personalities as much as Mercy Johnson changes characters in her movies. I’m afraid somewhere in the mix I lost total sight of who I really was. Now I’m more concerned who I am, and who I want to always be.

But that isn’t everything. I really need to know why you love me this much. Why? I feel totally unworthy, and yet I have this feeling you’ve been holding on so tight and yelling “I will not let you go!”
I think that’s great because I find myself slipping in more ways than one. I’m really not sure what’s happening, but I don’t like it one bit. Some of these people I have become in the past didn’t make me feel good about myself, or you either and I honestly want to please you. I guess you know that. Somehow I think maybe that’s why you have been holding on to me. You see the heart of man, while people look at physical appearance and actions. You understand the struggles–physical, mental, emotional–we face everyday, and you judge our actions based on that. I have slipped a hundred times already, and yet I feel you close by with your hand outstretched asking me to hold on. I haven’t.

Lord, I’m lost and in need of help. I mean the kind of help where you send a legion of Angels to minister. But most importantly, I need you. Just you. I have all these ‘depth'(like he calls it) that I can’t even begin to understand….don’t know what to do with it. But you know. Could you show me please? Will you take my hand and lead the way? Will you help me find me? The lines are blurred, and I see nothing.
Help me dear Lord, please?

Unmasking Mast Cell Disease: An Interview With a Fighter and Survivor

This is one of those stories of bravery in the face of trials.

The Other Courtney

I saw her photos on Instagram and was immediately drawn to them. We had a lot in common, it seemed. We both owned chocolate labradoodles, had anaphylactic allergies, and lived in the Carolinas. The more I got to “know” Brynn Duncan, however, I realized that while we did have things in common, our lives were nowhere near similar.

Her photos were captivating and touching



But equally heartbreaking


I started feeling sympathy for this girl I had never actually met, and only interacted with in the form of “likes” and Instagram comments. The more I read about her constant anaphylactic reactions, hospital visits, feeding tubes, and seizures, the more curious I became about what type of illness she was dealing with.  As someone who has anaphylactic allergies and knows the physical, mental, and emotional toll they take on a person, I could hardly comprehend a disease that causes spontaneous anaphylaxis, sometimes…

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The 21st Century Boogeyman


As a child, I used to spend hours daydreaming about tomorrow. Between playing ‘house’ with my kid sis and our teddys-Pingu and Moe-i had a near perfect idea what life would look like as a mother.
Like a typical African woman, I was going to be a Banker, have 4  kids–like my siblings and I. I’d shuffle between being a working class mother, and taking care of my family. Saturdays would be spent going to the market and cooking. Sundays we would go have fun at the beach; the kids building sand castles, hubby drinking a beer, and me relaxing with a Nora Robert tale of magic and romance. Everything would be perfect.

But no one ever really tells you what the real world has in stock for you, do they? The movies and books don’t prepare your childish fantasy filled mind for nearly half as much as growing up will bring your way. Your parents totally shield you from it all. Then you grow up to realise there is a lot more to everything you had ever dreamed of in the past.  You learn that with happiness comes sacrifices–some greater than others. Continue reading