All hands are on deck for Tundun’s wedding to Dejumo. Her three friends and flatmates – Brenda, Jedidah and Ihuoma (together classified as her “bestos”) are excited and x-raying the events of the past twelve months that have resulted in this long-desired event. Tundun, now 32, had experienced three prior relationships which had all ended in disappointment with very traumatic experiences for Tundun. All three had been people she knew in school or had met in her working career and she had physical interactions with them, their friends and family. Her friends were sceptical therefore when Tundun announced to them about twelve months back, that she had met Dejumo on Facebook and had decided to meet him in person after numerous chats and video calls. Tundun took the one-hour flight to Port Harcourt from Lagos, just to meet with Dejumo physically, early in their relationship. The three-day weekend sojourn in Port Harcourt was enough to settle her mind to give him a chance. The relationship grew stronger and both parties were convinced that they had common objectives, interests and values and were willing to give marriage their all.

As the “bestos” chatter excitedly, they review their single status and the options open to them as regards meeting their potential partners.

Brenda sighs: “I wonder what the young men are looking for these days. You meet with them at work, weddings and church, enjoy discussions and each other’s company, yet all they do is friendzone you. As Ladies, we can’t afford to be brazen about our interests so what do you do where the guy does not show interest. Na wa o”.

Jedidah replies: “What do you say about those who seem to show interest then tactically withdraw just when you think they will pop the question and get down to proposing? The next thing you know, they are getting married or you find out they were married all along”.

Ihuoma adds: “I keep wondering what chances we have with all the pandemic hullaballoo, limiting movement, events and interactions. The last two years kept things in limbo because of all the COVID restrictions. Thank God, things are finally getting relaxed and interactions are gradually being reinstated.

Brenda interjects: “Yes o. Thank God we can get to meet one another again. However, given Tundun’s success with Dejumo, maybe we should consider internet dating possibilities”.

Jedidah immediately opens the Google Search engine and reels out Wikipedia’s information regarding the subject.


“Since the 2010s, Internet dating has become more popular with smartphones.

Online dating (or Internet dating) is a system that enables people to find and introduce themselves to potential connections over the Internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships. An online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or software applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected personal computers or mobile devices. Such companies offer a wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based.

Online dating services allow users to become “members” by creating a profile and uploading personal information including (but not limited to) age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and appearance. Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile. Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact. Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcastsonline chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards. Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.

A great diversity of online dating services currently exists. Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships. Other sites target highly specific demographics based on features like shared interests, location, religion, sexual orientation or relationship type. Online dating services also differ widely in their revenue streams. Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue. Others utilize the “freemium” revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services. Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.”


While online dating may be considered a veritable option for meeting profiled suitors with probability based on sheer numbers of potentials resident in all parts of the world, a lot of “catfishing” occurs with insincerity, dishonesty and lies strewn all around. It is, therefore, necessary to follow up on initial contacts on the internet with good old-fashioned physical contact. It is however noteworthy that even in physical dating, there has been observed insincerity and dishonesty, how moreso where dating is virtual.

The threesome conclude that there is no hard and fast rule – no one size fits all approach to dating as different strokes exist for different folks. Nothing beats seeking God’s face and earnestly waiting on him. He makes everything beautiful in its time. Eccl 3:11


Besto – A slang for a very close friend.

Friend zoning – Regarding someone solely as a friend despite their avid interest or desire for a deeper relationship.

Freemium – A business model where a company offers basic or limited features to users at no cost and then charges a premium for supplemental or advanced features.        

Catfishing – The process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.

Reference: Wikipedia




It is 4pm on Saturday 20th December and four generations of ladies from the Onakoya family are gathered to celebrate great grandma Binta Onakoya at ninety. The modest celebration is over and the ladies engage great grandma in earnest conversation.

“Maami, after the bustle of today’s celebration, I think you deserve a nap and rest. I don’t know how you manage to be so active and alert at ninety. Its incredible! At sixty two, I am already done for the day. My knees ache and I am exhausted” Zubaida quips.”Besides, this menopause menace is making me feel unusually uncomfortable these days. I need to go take a rest in an air conditioned room. By the way maami, how come you never enlightened me about the health challenges associated with the aging process – the physical and physiological changes which all require health management.  Suddenly, I can no longer do the things I used to and all I hear is change your lifestyle, diet and exercise habits.”

As Great grandma clears her throat, Dotun, who is thirty six says “Hey mom…you did the exact same thing. No pep talk about the surprises in marriage, pregnancy and even raising the children especially the teenage years. What about managing home and career….juggling both without dropping the ball? Whew….I appreciate you the more daily  as I wonder how you coped with five of us combining the role of chef, nutritionist, nurse, teacher, counsellor, disciplinarian etc, meanwhile I struggle with just two children. Now, I understand when you say – ultimately, rest is only achievable in the grave.”

Twelve year old Atonte, who had been attentive all along , chips in…”Mom, you are doing a great job of things and I see you as my role model. I love being a woman (at least that is what I expect to grow up to be), but the discomfort created by this menstrual cycle is discomfiting. Bio does not have to go through all this, it’s unfair. It demands a higher level of cleanliness and care to ensure I am not embarrassed by stains and the cramps every month…I wish I could pass on them.” Dotun responds to Atonte with an explanation. “Atonte dear, Bio is a boy and your roles are different. I know you’ve been taught about Reproduction in school. God created women to bear children, so the eggs you produce monthly are fertilised by a male sperm to enable you conceive. Each month from the age of puberty till menopause, a fresh egg is produced. Once it is not fertilised, it is shed and discarded as a menstrual flow. Therefore, the shedding of the unfertilised egg each month is what comes as the monthly menstrual cycle which can be suspended during pregnancy and resumes after childbirth.”

Great grandma Binta clears her throat and states in a clear voice.” Maybe I should share my thoughts on the cycles of a woman’s life, something to remember me by when I’m gone.” she laughed. ”I categorize the cycles women pass through into five.

  1. THE GIRL CHILD (1-12years): At this stage, the girl child and boy child are much the same except that girls tend to be gentler and settle down into maturity faster. They display an innate motherly instinct which they display with their dolls and pets.They however learn to do whatever they are exposed to as well as the boy child – be it climbing trees or playing football. This is the stage at which they must be introduced to the word of God and his expectations. “Train up a child in the way she should go and when she is old she will not depart from it” –  Proverbs 22:6
  2. TEENAGE/YOUTH (12 – 20years): Self consciousness sets in as she attains puberty. Physical and physiological changes occur bringing about self discovery. She subconsciously starts thinking about and preparing for marriage and child bearing/rearing while at the same time working on career moves through school or tutelage. Atonte dear, I believe you are moving to this stage and I assure you, while it can throw up its own frustrations and disappointments, it is a period of learning in all ramifications. Increased Spiritual growth.
  3. WIFE/MOTHER (21 – 50years):  God prepares her emotionally and physically for the institution of marriage and its attendant responsibilities. Her body is prepared to take the pain associated with childbirth, the aftermath of Eve’s encounter with the Devil in the garden of Eden…Gen 3:16 of the Bible.  He also blesses the union with children, both biological and “adopted”. During this cycle, the woman also is building her career or trade, she is upwardly mobile and displays innate multi-tasking abilities. This is a period when she bustles with vigour and the energy required to train children. This cycle can only be successful if you hold steadfastly to God. Dotun….well done, Atonte attests to your success in this cycle.
  4. GRANDMA (51-70years): At this point she gradually reduces her hustle and retires from a vigorous career but remains active both mentally and physically. Menopause kicks in because God knows her energy can no longer cope with bearing, rearing and training children. The body suffers from the toll of child bearing and aging so she needs to watch her diet, exercise and maintain a happy life balance. Take care of her physical health and mental health. Zubaida dear, now is the time to relax and enjoy the benefits of your past labour of love. Undoubtedly, aches and pains will arise as the body parts begin to age but you can ride with the tide and manage them. This is a time when you need peace of mind and contentment while keeping both your body and mind active. Enjoy the simple things of life, see the good in every situation and pray for family, friends, neighbors, nations…in short, pray without ceasing.
  5. GREAT GRANDMA (71+years): Prepares to meet with her maker, the author and finisher of her faith. Set her house in order and protect her legacy in prayers. Eat, Rest, Enjoy life Read the Holy book and PRAY.

You must however note that there is a common thread that runs through all five cycles and that is  what I refer to as the God factor.  You must study the word, pray and fellowship with others to keep in tune with God and his plans for you at all times. He it is who makes a way where there appears to be none. Not everyone lives old enough to go through all the stages but whichever, one attains, God’s grace suffices.”

At this, great grandma Binta, kissed her ladies goodnight and settled down to a restful sleep.



“The Little foxes”

Rodiyah met Frank on the University Campus in her final year as a student of dentistry. Frank  was pursuing his Housemanship at the Teaching Hospital and was completely “blown away.” After a couple of years courtship, the lovebirds got married and settled down  to raising a family. Five years into the marriage, with two children – Sandra and Cynthia, cracks started appearing in the marriage. Pressure set in from Frank’s family for him to marry a second wife. The reasons given were threefold:

  1. Rodiyah had only given them female children and Frank being the only son of the family, they needed an heir to carry on the family name.
  2. Rodiyah was from a different culture and they  found some of her traditions alien and contradictory to their expectations.
  3. She had an Islamic background even though she had converted to Christianity, out of love for her husband.

Consequently, both she and her children were often ostracised at family engagements in spite of Frank’s disapproval of their descrimination.

Soon, the pressure from his family got to Frank and he started spending more time with friends, drinking after work. This continued and he made a new set of friends at the bars he attended. On one of the nights he was drowning his sorrows in alcohol, one of his newly acquired friends (nicknamed “Magic man” for his ability to proffer solutions to EVERY problem) commented on his situation and advised that he follow the advice of his family and have a son even if outside wedlock. He promised to introduce him to a woman he was sure would fit the bill. Shortly after, Magic man introduced Frank to Ngozi and they hit things off. After six months of dating, Ngozi announced to Frank that she was pregnant. Frank’s joy knew no bounds as he now spent more time with Ngozi, to the neglect of his family. A hitherto happy family now became  tense and unhappy. Rodiyah was no longer welcome at Frank’s family events and he showcased Ngozi instead, confident that she would be the mother of the heir they sought. Rodiyah was devastated but turned to God in service and prayers.

Needless to say, Frank’s financial situation deteriorated by the day as he had formed a habit of drinking, which took a toll on his resources and maintaining Ngozi was by no means cheap. Rodiyah had to take on the onerous task of running her home with much of the children’s expenses devolving on her.

Sadly, Ngozi suffered a still birth and the much awaited son was dead on arrival. Frank’s sorrow knew no bounds especially as Rodiyah, who had suffered the brunt of neglect in the nine month span, was now ready to move on with her life. Frank’s life was in shambles, his marriage was seriously under threat due to his neglect and infidelity, he had taken to alcohol for solace, his old friends no longer associated with him, his finances were drained and his work output suffered.

Hope however came in the form of an old school friend of Frank’s -Dozie – a Marriage Counsellor who had recently returned from a four year sojourn in the U.S.A, and ran into Frank (who  was looking disheveled) at a bank ATM. Dozie scheduled a counselling session with Frank and Rodiyah to help them resolve the issues that were putting a strain on their relationship. At the end of a session of twelve visits spanning three months, Rodiyah and Frank resolved that it was in both their interest and that of the children to pick up the pieces and salvage their marriage.

Dozie started by referring them to the Bible and reminding them that the book of Songs of Solomon 2:15 refers to the “Little foxes that spoil the vine”. He likened marriage to a vine, an institution which like the vine is expected to produce sweetness like the grapes of the vine, but which can be attacked by seemingly inconsequential , mundane things that impact the health of the marriage. After analysing the deterioration of their marriage, he identified “Three foxes” at play which were responsible for the state of the marriage:

  • Family: Frank had allowed himself to be swayed by the dictates of his family. He needed to display maturity and establish his independence. If he was happy with his family status he should have guided it and shielded his wife from their targeted bigotry. Gen. 2:24 of the bible states that “A man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
  • Friends: Friends can have a positive or negative influence on a person depending on the type of friend. Good friends have a positive impact while bad friends have a negative impact. Clearly, friends made at drinking houses usually do not have deep roots and their advice should be  treated casually. Magic man’s advice was a couterproductive solution to the problem. Frank was trying to tell God he doesn’t trust him to do what is best for him so he will help himself. If his attitude was that God will always work in his best interest, he would wait for God to provide the son and if he didn’t, would accept it as God’s will. Helping God has never been a solution. Suppose the male child would cause the parents much pain, shame and reproach? Why not trust the God who knows the end from the beginning?
  • Finances: The responsibility of marriage calls for Financial prudence as finances must be properly harnessed and managed by the couple, to achieve the corporate goals of the family. Where either party is reckless or unable to contribute to the financial wellbeing of the family, this creates a strain on the marriage. Frank’s foray into alcohol and keeping a mistress, undoubtedly impacted on the finances available for the family.

Nevertheless, the holy books all talk about the importance of forgiveness especially where an erring party realises their mistake and is prepared to make reparations/corrections. He therefore appealed to Rodiyah to forgive her husband and help him pick up the pieces. God never gives up on us once we retrace our steps, he forgives us and gives us a second chance.

As Rodiyah, what would you do…accept the counsel of Dozie or leave Frank to his fate?



My Mother  by Ann Taylor

Who sat and watched my infant head
When  sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray
And love God’s holy book and day,
And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me,?
My Mother.

Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward thy care,
My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old and grey,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My Mother.




At a radio programme on the subject of Sexual Harassment, four discussants were invited to share their experiences and perspectives on the said subject. Three  of them had experienced sexual harassment at some point or the other while the fourth was to shed light on the position of the law regarding sexual harassment. The Interviewer/Moderator introduced the topic by defining sexual harassment as described by Wikipedia as “a type of harassment involving the use of explicit or implicit sexual overtones, including the unwelcome and inappropriate promises of rewards in exchange for sexual favours. sexual harassment includes a range of actions from verbal transgressions to sexual abuse or assault”. She further added that sexual harassment can occur  in so many different settings such as the workplace, home, school, church etc. harassers or victims may be of any sex or gender. However, the preponderance of reported victims are female. She welcomed Shalewa, Jolomi, Tayo and Balami to the show.

Shalewa opened the discussion by sharing her experience as an undergraduate student where she experienced harassment by the Dean of her Faculty in her final year. One day, he summoned her to his office and calmly told her that if she wanted to graduate that year, she needed to accept his hitherto rebuffed advances. Of course, the rest is history as she yielded to the pressure.

Moderator: “But, couldn’t you have called his bluff and reported him to the school authorities? Or gone public with it”.

Jolomi interrupts : “It’s not that easy, mind you, she needed to graduate. He wielded his authority over her”.

Shalewa explains:” I come from a financially underprivileged background and was seen as the beacon of hope the family had. I couldn’t allow ANYTHING stop my dream especially as I knew how hard it was to get my fees paid. I really was in a quandary and felt I had no option. Besides, it would have been my word against his, it didn’t happen in this digital era you know”.

Jolomi takes it from there: “In my case , my experience was in the workplace where a male colleague was always ogling me, making sexually explicit comments like “I dream of what you’d be like in bed” and seeking the slightest opportunity to brush against me. I made a report about this to the Head of Human Resources who incidentally was male, but he ignored it. I resigned and opted out of the organisation”.

Tayo interjects with a laugh.:” Don’t ever think this harassment thing only affects females o! You can’t imagine my shock, when the Proprietress/Managing Director to whom I was a Personal Assistant, turned her gaze on me and started initially by making sexual insinuations and connotations which I pretended to not understand. She became emboldened and brazenly threatened to sack me if we did not have a relationship. I was still single and she was a divorced mother of two”.

Moderator: Hmmm… Balami, can you give us the position of the Law with regards to Sexual harassment and useful advice for victims of this serious and prevalent menace. .

Balami clears his throat and begins: “The position of the Law is clear on this as Sexual harassment is not condoned by the law courts.

  1. Sexual abuse constitutes a violation of human rights under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as S. 34 of the Constitution speaks to the right to dignity of a person and S.42, the right to freedom from discrimination. Sexual harassment is a violation of one’s human rights and s therefore actionable in law.
  2. Both the Criminal Code (applicable in the Southern states of Nigeria) and the Penal Code (applicable in the Northern states,  make sexual harassment a punishable CRIMINAL offence.
  3. In addition, various states have enacted their unique laws that address this menace e.g The Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017, S.262 and the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

 Chapter 25 of the Lagos State Law provides for Sexual offences and states under S.262 as follows:

(1) “Any person who sexually harasses another is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three (3) years.

 (2) Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which when submitted to or rejected –

(a) Implicitly or explicitly affects a person’s employment or educational opportunity or unreasonable interferes with the person’s work or educational performance

(b) Implicitly or explicitly suggests that submission to or rejection of the conduct will be a factor in academic or employment decisions or

(c) Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning or working environment”.

With particular emphasis on sexual harassment in the workplace, The National Industrial Court whose jurisdiction it is to handle Labour and Employment related matters, under Order 14 of its practice rules, recognizes sexual harassment in the workplace as an actionable offence. The renowned case of Ejike Maduka vs Microsoft which established the liability of employers and employees alike, for cases of workplace sexual harassment in Nigeria, is a case in point.

In view of the foregoing, my advice to victims of sexual harassment is that they should be bold to report it, escalate it within the establishment. The place of the Law is that an employer can be held vicariously liable for the sexual harassment committed by its employees and every employer has a duty to have a policy on sexual harassment and must investigate reported cases in line with such policy.

It however behooves on the victim to prove:

  1. That the behaviour complained against is connected to sex or gender.
  2. That the conduct is severe or pervasive (it goes beyond being simply annoying).
  3. The behaviour is unwelcome, persistent, discomfiting, hostile or intimidating.
  4. The liability of the aggressor, whether the offender or his employer”.

Moderator: ’Thank you Mr. Balami. Unfortunately, some persons claim that such harassment is usually caused by the overt or covert invitation of the victim by their actions, dressing etc. In other words, there is nothing like sexual harassment, it is only an excuse when things go south/sour. Can I have your parting words on this”?

Shalewa: ”Sexual harassment is a sad reality and commonplace in institutions of learning”.

Jolomi : ”Undoubtedly, it is also common in the workplace”.

Tayo: “It most certainly exists and is not limited to the womenfolk”.

Balami: “The Law undoubtedly recognises it so it is a fact and certainly not  myth”.