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Uncomplimentary Compliments!

by Oluseye Igbafe

Most compliments are given with good intentions (I think). However, a compliment not properly phrased can actually sound more like a jab or worse still, an outright insult.
I was trying out a wig at a hair shop today when a young man with possibly good intentions turned and said, "This one is nice, it makes you look young".

In my mind, I was like, _hmm?! Am I not young? Egbami o!. So the phrase "makes you look young" would be a compliment for an old woman, which I am definitely NOT! It implies I look old! That wipes out whatever pleasure was to be gotten from that compliment. 
Now if he had said, "It makes you look younger", that would have been a compliment!
Let's look at another common supposed compliment. "This dress/hair/shoe makes you look nice!  This means it is the dress that makes you look nice. A better way to put it is: This dress looks nice on you!
Another common one is "You are looking good/smart/nice today! Or you sm…
Recent posts

Understanding Your Rights & Responsibilities in a Relationship

by Oluseye Igbafe

I recently facilitated a training where one of the modules dealt with the issues regarding rights and responsibilities in learning. I realized that the underlying principle of that module is universal; it applies to love relationships as much as it does to work relationship. 
The principle of rights and responsibilities simply states that for every right you exercise, you have a corresponding responsibility. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the bane of most relationships or marriages is either the desire to exercise rights without fulfilling  corresponding responsibilities; or the enjoyment of the responsibilities others bear without allowing them their rights. Of course, there are those  who are simply not aware that they have rights in a relationship.
In this context, the term "rights” is used a bit loosely because they may not be legally enforceable; nonetheless, this does not invalidate them in anyway. Rights simply refer to “what you are en…

Hiring an Underaged House-help is Child Abuse!

by Oluseye Igbafe

The issue of underage house helps is one that really upsets and offends my sensibilities, the rationale behind it is simply baffling. How can a couple be comfortable employing a child to raise their own children? Of course, it is often not termed as employment but done under the guise of helping, training or whatever title but looking at the role and responsibilities laid on these maids, it is simply child abuse, child labour, child endangerment, and even modern day slavery in its purest form. 

I thought I had seen or heard the worst of underage house help stories till a woman wrote on social media last week that she thinks her 5 year old house help is possessed. I just had to comment that she is the one that is likely possessed; anyone who can use a 5year old as a house help is not only possessed but deranged. A 5 years old?

So why do women employ underaged children as maids? I mean how can you employ a child of 5, 8 or even 12 years old as a maid? A child to pick and …

The Future was Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

by Oluseye Igbafe

Growing up, I was very future conscious. I was very conscious that my actions may determine and affect my future. I took my studies and exams quite seriously and was quick to defer playing and enjoyment.  The future is there to play and enjoy. 
Of course, once you start working and having children, school fees, college fees, mortgage and stuff become all you plan for, and on and on it just goes.... 
This mindset has greatly helped me, no doubt about this. Major life changes like changing location or career wasn't as daunting as it would have been if I hadn't had this mindset, but when exactly is the future; this future we suspend most of our fun and joys for? When is the future you will finally relax and enjoy your life? 
"Well, the future was yesterday, the future is today and the future is tomorrow."  
When you get to tomorrow, will you look back and see it's been a great journey?  The future is now! I'm not saying forget tomorrow but recognize…

Exaggeration, Name Dropping & Other Syndromes

by Oluseye Igabfe

Recently I remembered my conversation with an acquaintance and below are some  typical snippets

Snippet 1: Me: I love your scarf. Her: Thanks oh, I bought it on my trip to Paris. It was about €40. Me: Wow! That's nice. What I probably should have said: Who asked you? Just say thank you. #SMH

Snippet 2: Me: That house is lovely. Her: It's ok, my husband is buying something like this in Lekki for N40m, it's on 2 hectares. Me: Thank God for you. What I actually should have said: Really? Yet you borrow N500 from me regularly and don’t pay back?

Snippet 3: Me: I need to renew my license oh, these Police people almost caught me last week. Her: The last time the police stopped me, I called the Governor’s aide cos I didn't want to call him directly, the policemen started begging me. Me: Hmmm, I prefer to just do my license in peace What I probably should have said: Keep quiet sis, you & I know you don't know the Governor or his aide.

Sadly, these are actual conversati…

Fatherhood is NOT a Chore.

by Oluseye Igbafe

I watched a lovely video of a father bathing his baby girl a few days ago. The expertise he showed in handling such a tender baby was commendable as I know most men are scared of little babies. I guess men tend to feel they will hurt or drop the babies mistakenly. In all, it was a beautiful video, save for most of the comments where a lot of men and women on the thread praised the man for “helping” his wife... there lies my issue, in the concept that what he was doing was “helping” his wife. 
A while ago, a family friend missed an important gathering. His reason was that he was busy “babysitting” his kids. I found the use of the word “babysitting” quite inappropriate. So what’s wrong with saying a man is “helping” his wife with the kids or “babysitting” the kids? A lot is wrong with it! That man was not “helping” his wife bathe his daughter, he was being a father and the video is about fatherhood, not a chore.

In Africa, men have taken the role of fatherhood to simply b…

Teaching Your Children About Consent!

by Oluseye Igbafe

I watched as my children played teacher and student but noticed the younger one didn’t seem to be having much fun. “Are you enjoying yourself?” I asked her. “Not really”, she replied, glancing at her sister. “I don’t want to be a naughty student, I want to be a good one”. “But that’s not the play, she is supposed to be punished for not doing her homework", the older sister insisted. "But it’s a play", I said, "that means both of you are playing together and must enjoy it equally. Once one of you is not enjoying it, then it’s no longer a play, you are now using her as a toy in your play", I explained to the older sister. “Okay”, she grumpily replied and at that moment, it hit me!
This isn’t just about play, it’s about consent, a perfect opportunity to talk about consent. So I went further to explain that to them... “Playing is having fun; and when you and someone are playing, you must be sure you are having fun and the kind of fun you like. You should…