To kneel or not to kneel…

To kneel or not to kneel…

Whilst recuperating last week, there was a trending story on the Nigerian social media that caught my attention. If you follow Nigerian pop culture, I’m sure you would have seen it.
A phone conversation with a friend made me decide to share my opinion about the video and I’ll very much like to hear yours as well – so please leave a comment 😘.

The Video

The video was about a Lady – in lovely Nigerian attire – on her knees, eulogising her husband. Now, from my conversation with my friend as well as comments from the video post, there has been a lot of argument about her action. There are of-course two camps, ‘the for’ and ‘the against’. I fall in ‘the for’ camp and I’ll explain my reason – thanks Nono for urging me to discuss this 😘.

From what I saw in the video, her gesture embarrased her husband and he urged her to get up (this I think makes it clear that it’s not something she normally does). She outrightly told him to leave her be and she said something that struck me “when a husband does well, he should be honoured”.

Her statement drew me because we live in a world where a lot of us women are very independent and feel we do not need anyone to wait on us and certainly don’t have to answer to any man even our husbands! And so we read a lot about bad husbands/men, hardly do you come across stories where a man/husband is appreciated.

It was, therefore, heartwarming to see this video because as much as there are bad marriages/men, there are still good men/husbands and there are still good marriages.

How a lady decides to honour her man as far as I’m concerned is nobody’s business. If she wants to sing to/of him, that’s her cup of tea, if she wants to write a tribute and read to him – all good and if she wants to kneel and eulogise him then that’s her choice and should be respected.

Another thing ‘the against’ camp forgot is the cultural aspect. The lady in the video is from the Yoruba culture where kneeling is a sign of deference. That’s how Yorubas show respect. We kneel to greet adults and people of authority and in our culture, a husband is a person of authority and the wife is expected to kneel in respect to his authority. Husbands also have their own responsibilities. I’ll try to explain better for the benefit of my non-Nigerian readers.

In Nigeria, we have different tribes and these tribes have their own different cultures. I’m from the Yoruba tribe -which the woman in the video is from, and our culture demands that we kneel for our husbands in respect and submission.

Even though a lot of our culture has been watered down over the years with some aspects even done away with, at most Yoruba weddings, the wife still kneels to her husband (in most cases in recent times, that is the 1st and only time this happens 😄.) I had to do it at my traditional wedding too (but I got my pound of flesh back at the Church joining 😜.)

Conclusion

We live in a world where:

  • Chivalry is seen as sexist. I feel it should not be ruled out as long as it doesn’t undermine a woman.
  • Most men are perceived to be scum and are quickly called out for their bad behaviour.

A woman who has a good man and decides to celebrate him should therefore be encouraged, not attacked. Other Clips viewed from her party made it obvious her husband was happy to let her shine.

I don’t know their story, but the little I saw, I liked. – a couple happy to celebrate each other. That’s what I’ve taken from the video and I applaud the lady for choosing to appreciate her man publicly in a way she felt would honor him best. Some people still embrace their culture in its entirety while some practice part of it, it’s their choice.

There’s so much anger in the world today, the atmosphere is so toxic. You have to always watch what you say or do so as not to anger a particular group or another🙄. Can we just let people be themselves and be happy, as long as they’re not harming anyone. Let’s live and let live – life is too short 😏.

Can I do what she did? No, do I consent? Absolutely! Every second of that video was adorable. I love how he tried to pull her up but she insisted he let her be. I also love how he was embarrassed and moved to tears. She knew how to touch him and she did it.

If I should try that, I’ll just end up embarrassing myself and my man because that gesture would not move him one bit. But I know other things to do to appreciate him publicly.

Let people do them. Do what makes you happy, do what makes your partner/friends/family happy as long as you’re not hurting another person.

What are your thoughts on this story?

How do you appreciate your partner?

Please feel to share…

Video link 👇🏽

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuHhUFQFZbq/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1eaxhkl2w2sft

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91st Academy Awards (Oscars 2019) Best Looks…

91st Academy Awards (Oscars 2019) Best Looks…

Finally the Oscars have come and gone! The pictures are everywhere, but better late than never.😉

Please enjoy my selection of the best looks on the red carpet;

The Oscars red carpet made it look like spring has sprung.😄 The weather has indeed changed, the sun is out, birds chirping etc. talk about a hot winter! It was great to see all the bright colours on the red carpet. Let’s start with one of my favourite looks;

Constance Wu has kept up the momentum on the red carpet this award season with one amazing look after another. I 💓 this bright yellow hue on her.

Constance Wu in Atelier Versace

It’s been so much fun keeping up with Kacey Musgraves this awards season as she has successfully wowed almost on all the red carpets. How divine is this bubble gum tulle turtle neck on the beautiful singer?💝

Kacey Musgraves in Giambattista Valli

It was raining pink on the Oscars red carpet, Gemma’s frock looks unusual for the Academy Awards, but I’m all in for this delightful style. 😘

Gemma Chan in Valentino Couture

Another hot shade of pink and I’m still in 🙋‍♀️. Stunning look from Kiki 😍.

Kiki Layne in Atelier Versace

‘Daenerys Stormborn, first of her name, the unburnt queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of chains and mother of Dragons’. I apoloogise 🤩. I couldn’t help myself if you know, you know!

Love this look from Emilia 😍.

Emilia Clarke in Balmain

Meaghan is serving us hot hot in this pink number…😋

Meaghan Good in Georges Chakra

How lovely does the ageless Angela Bassett look in this hot pink dress, I definitely approve 👌.

Angela Bassett in Reem Accra

Another ageless beauty in brilliant shades of pink, love her 😘.

Dame Helen Mirren in Schiaparelli Couture

This delicate and beautiful red dress looks hot on Marina 💖.

Marina de Tavira in J. Mendel

I can just imagine how exquisite this dress looked live! It’s a lovely piece, even more so on video, as good as it looks, picture does it no justice! And you know I love me some Emma 😜

Emma Stone in Loius Vuitton

Nice look from Leslie. She’s giving us Aso-ebi vibes 😁.

Leslie Bibb in Armani

The elegant Michelle Yeoh sure did not come to play this awards season. She ruled the red carpet with one regal Elie Saab dress after another! Reign on queen! 🤴

Michelle Yeoh in Elie Saab

Love this shade of blue on Tina Fey, she looks very classy😘.

Tina Fey in custom Vera Wang

And my best dressed of the 2019 Oscars is the elegant Chalize Theron 👏👏🎇. What stunning delivery! To say I adore this periwinkle dress will be an understatement. Go girl 👌

Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture

I think I can safely say Amy Adams left the best for last 🤩. This is perfection! Hair, jewellery, make-up all aligned together for this flawless finish. 👌

Amy Adams in Atelier Versace

Molly Sim’s dress is beautiful! The cut, the fit, very nice look, 👍

Molly Sims in Zuhair Murad Couture

This year’s award season has been a big one for Lady gaga. The singer/actress transformed from a dramatic pop star to a glamorous actress right before our eyes. This look is no exception ❤

Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen

I love this sleek, simple look from the tennis queen, Serena 👌

Serena Williams in Armani Prive

How classy is this Pamela Roland outfit. You get our approval Allison. 🙌

Allison Janney in Pamella Roland

Oh Ashley 😍! This Zac Posen dress fits in all the right places, gorgeous loook girl!

Ashley Graham in Zac Posen

Regina King is the lady in white and she pulls it off brilliantly! This is how you wear an all white outfit. 💯

Regina King in Oscar de la Renta

Melissa looks so good in her black and white outfit. This for me is one of her best red carpet looks, edgy yet elegant. You rock girl 👏👏👏

Let’s not forget the men!

I’ll start with Michael because I have to pay mama some respect! Whao, mama Jordan rocked the redcarpet better than some of our favourite celebrities. And with a dashing Michael by her side, what more can we say … 💯

Donna Jordan and Michael B. Jordan

Hmmph Chris! Take it easy on us mortals 😉. Love the unusual colour on Chris Evans. 👌

Chris Evans in Salvatore Ferragamo
Trevor Nelson

Credits:

Getty Images

@aaronfavaloro

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72nd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) Best Dressed List…

72nd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) Best Dressed List…

Hey guys, it’s been a while. I actually put up this post 2 weeks ago, but I forgot to publish it 😬. Half term happened, 😁 and then I became poorly, picked up something which I successfully passed round the house. I apologise for my absence, I’ve just been busy getting better and making sure the boys were good before school resumed.

I almost deleted this, because the BAFTAs Awards was held on the 10th February, but decided to post anyway because the BAFTAs was a little overshadowed by the Grammys and we did not see a lot of the BAFTAs fashion. So please enjoy my pick of the best from the awards shoe: 😘

Regina King in Versace
Claire Foy in Oscar de la renta
Glenn Close in Alexandee Mcqueen
Maya Jama in Aadnevik
Cate Blanchett in Christopher Kane

Stacy Martin in Dior

Rachel Weisz in Gucci
Eleanor Tomlinson in Ralph & Russo
Viola Davis in Armani Prive
Melissa McCarty in St. John
Michelle Yeoh in Elie Saab
Richard E. Grant
Mahershala Ali in Tom Ford
Luke Evans

Credits: Getty images

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The 61st Grammy Awards 2019 – Best Dressed

The 61st Grammy Awards 2019 – Best Dressed

I never thought I would do a review of fashion from the Grammys. This is because I’ve never really been taken by Grammy fashion, more often than not, it’s over the top. However, this year’s Grammys has been more than impressive. Never knew I would associate the Grammys with sophistication! But that is the best way to describe what was delivered last night.

Let’s get straight to business;

Kacey Musgrave is a revelation in Valentino. Definitely my best look 😍.

Kacey Musgraves in Valentino

Love, love Ashlee’s look in this sequined jump suit.

Ashlee Simpson in Georges Chakra Couture
Dua Lipa in Versace
Blanca Blanco in Quynh Nhu Nguyen
Kelsea Ballerini in Jenny Packham
Patrizia Yanguela
Tamara Dhia in Maria Lucia Hohan

Good old Jenny looks more covered up than I’ve seen her in a while, but I’m not complaining… She still killed the look 😎

Jennifer Lopez in Ralph & Russo

Anna Kendrick always looks cute on the red carpet and this year’s Grammys’ is no exception. 😚

Anna Kendrick in Ralph & Russo

A look of fashion critics have ridiculrd Katy’s red carpet look, but I like it! It’s fun and sleek, and the make-up and hair 😍. How did she sit though?!

Katy Perry in Balmain
maren morris

Lady Gaga’s outfit is giving me the Nigerian aso-ebi vibe 😋. Looks like something one of our Nigerian fashionistas have rocked with their aso-ebi, she looks very good though.

Lady Gaga in Celine

Love the pop of colour and what a classy look from Tracee 😋

Tracee Ellis Ross in Ralph & Russo

Miley looks so cool in this feminine Tux. Notice the volumnious sleeves. Nice look 😎.

Miley Cyrus in Mugler

Very lovely, feminine look from Guiliana 😘.

Guiluana Rancic in Tom Ford

Not hating on Catherine’s partner but couldn’t find any personal picture of her. Love her pant suit, shoes and I just think she was styled right. 👌

Catherine Shepard and Brandi Carlile

I noticed a lot of tulle and volumnious sleeves on the red carpet. Let’s start with these lovely sisters that are signed to Beyonce’s label.

Chloe and Halle Bailey

Janelle Monae consistently brings something different to the red carpet. She’s also rocking the volumnious sleeves trend 😎.

Janelle Monae in Jean Paul Gaultier

Sleeves 😊

Tokimonsta in Iris Van Herpen

Sleeves again 😗

Renee Bargh in Rotate Birger Christensen

And even more big sleeves 😊

Keltie Knight

And again 😵

Hennesy Carolina

Sounds you wanna hear, who dat – Swiss beats 🤩. Sorry I’m a 90s child and can’t help myself sometimes. Does swiss ever step out not looking nice? And Alicia, my all time favourite, nice look 🙌

Alicia Keys & Swiss beatz

Let’s not leave out the gents 🤩

John Batiste in Coach
Vincent Watson
Jerry Cantrell
Backstreet Boys

Credits: #grammy2019

Vogueonline

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My Down Syndrome Story – Bisi

My Down Syndrome Story – Bisi

Meet Bisi

Bisi is an old friend of mine from law school. We happened to have been expecting about the same time, and we would chat every now and then leading up to delivery.

Up until a few years ago, I never knew that beautiful Omorinre was born with an extra chromosome (down syndrome). This was not because Bisi was hiding her – as this has been a norm in the part of the world we come from for years! But it was because it did not change or affect her cheerful and lively spirit in any way.

Please read Bisi’s candid story…

My name is Olabisi, a Commercial Lawyer with one of the New Generational Banks in Nigeria. I am a Mother of two beautiful children, a beautiful Girl and a wonderful Boy.

I think it’s best I start with her full name as I honestly believe that God gave her those names so that we can continually prophesy daily into her life. Omorinre Oluwatetisimi Oluteleayomi(my first child) was born at about midnight some 4 years ago with a unique extra chromosome( Down Syndrome).

Throughout the 9months of pregnancy, I kept having this funny feeling that something was wrong. Even after I went to my genealogist and he confirmed everything was good and I had nothing to worry about! I kept going to private diagnostic centres by myself for scans, and I even had one done which was claimed to be ‘3D’, and I was assured that all was well.

My husband passed off my feelings as anxiety of a 1st time mum. Looking back, I suspect maybe they knew something was wrong but couldn’t tell me or something.

At what point did you realise there was something wrong?

Immediately after her birth, I must confess that as a first-time mum I was worried about how much hair she had – as I had been afraid she may be bald like her dad.

I noticed that the doctor and nurse were discussing in hush tones around her and I recall asking if everything was okay and I received an affirmative response.

Three hours after her birth – when I had finally started to sleep after thanking God for a beautiful baby girl, a young resident doctor came into my room to inform me of the suspicion that My daughter, the beautiful girl I just birthed had down syndrome (Looking back now I think her approach was rather insensitive). I recall asking the young doctor how old she was and how many years she had practiced medicine and quickly dismissing her. The moment she left my room, I said some serious prayers rejecting the news.

I also called my sister who is a medical doctor to alert her of the news I just heard, and she arrived early hours of the morning and confirmed my worst fears.

Then the journey started, we saw different doctors, and different tests were out, she had to have a surgery 3 days after her birth after which I was told she had a massive hole in her heart which cut across all four chambers, and that she needed to have another surgery. This surgery we were told could only happen when she gained 5kg. This mission was almost impossible as she was too weak to suck either from the breast or bottle.

When I look back now I think I just became a robot who was programmed to do all that I was required to do. I was to report to the hospital every other day with her to visit the cardiologist who will look at her heart. Feeding her was heart breaking as she had no energy to suck the bottle (We were given a high-calorie formula). At that point, breast milk was not even an option as it didn’t have enough calories to give her the target weight.

I would feed her every two hours round the clock with a syringe with the hope that even if she throws up, something will remain. We carried on like this and she managed to gain 1kg! The doctors were amazed and eventually approved the surgery because she was getting too weak.

How has her medical condition affected your family

Since the surgery, we returned Home(Nigeria) to continue with our life, at 8months we started physiotherapy to assist her to walk which she didn’t accomplish till she was 21months. At 15 months she started speech therapy to help with her speech, which we are still working on till date.

Omorinre is the sunshine in the family, she has taught all of us both nuclear and extended family to be patient, vigilant, forgiving, firm and supportive.

People living with Down syndrome are said to be the happiest people in the world and Omorinre is one sure happy child whose smile can melt the toughest heart – hence the need to be firm.

She loves her brother and her brother loves her so much but she doesn’t hesitate to shove him if she feels he is taking her for granted. Omo( as she fondly calls herself) is very stubborn and has the tendency to do only things she wants to do hence our many fights.

How has it been raising Omo over the years?

Raising her has come with its ups and downs. This is because, in Nigeria, special needs services don’t come cheap and even when money is not the issue, you may not be getting value for your money.

Child care has been a huge problem as I am a working mum and I need to rely on others to help me with her. I once employed a nanny who left and told her agent that the reason she left was because I had a special needs child (I refuse to use the mean words she used), the fact that Omo can’t tell us how she was treated – because of her limited speech is always at the back of my mind.

Omo attends a regular school and I constantly worry if she is doing okay academically and remind myself daily not to compare her to other children of her age. The fear of not doing enough and failing her is constantly on my mind, hence I strive daily thinking of alternative areas to help her and develop her.

Being a working mum, I have learnt to surround myself with support from family on both mine and her dad’s side of the family, and I think I must use this medium to say thank you to both families , everyone is always ready to chip in when the help is required, sometimes her 84 years old granddad will take her to school or my mum is ever ready to take her for the weekend if I have an engagement. Because of the solid support system I have I was able to leave her for over three months with her Dad and our families when I went to have her brother.

Raising her is like raising any other child, every parent pays attention to their child’s needs and raising a child with down syndrome is not any different. There must however be a conscious effort in ensuring that both kids are treated the same. I try not to give Omo any special treatment, I always encourage her to do more in attaining goals. Every goal achieved is well celebrated in my home.

Advice for families struggling with the same or similar situation.

My humble advice to family with unique kids without sounding too spiritual, is first be happy, thanking God always for the opportunity to serve another human being and asking for his support throughout the journey,.

Secondly, surround yourself with good support i.e. family, therapist, child care, school, friends etc. Lastly never be too ashamed to ask for help. Whenever you need it, ask for it.

If you require help and more information about down syndrome, you can approach the following agencies which I have used:

  1. Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria 1, Alafara Oje Crescent Alamutu Estate, Iju, Fagba, Lagos. Formerly: 43, Adegoke Street, Off Masha, Surulere, they are opened Monday-Friday, 8am4pm   and operate a live in service somewhere in Fagba in Lagos State. Telephone number +234-803-228-5545 Email:info@downsyndrome-ng.org  (This Association was founded by Mrs. Rose Mordi a Down Syndrome parent).
  2. Moyinoluwa Rainbow Foundation. House 4, A close, 112 Road, Off 1st Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos Phone: +234 9084417979 Mobile: +234 8088798551 Email: info@moyinrainbowfoundation.com. (This Foundation was founded by a Down Syndrome parent Adetola Makinde mother of Moyinoluwa a child born with Unique extra chromosome).

What are some of the challenges of raising children with special needs in Nigeria

In Nigeria, there is a general lack of awareness about Down syndrome. I remember when I was school shopping for my daughter and of course the 1st thing I did then was to inform them of her unique abilities. The head of school honestly was clueless and I had to educate her and give her some websites to read up on but I wasn’t upset because I only had a vague idea before I gave birth to my daughter myself.

We also lack early intervention caregivers. Children with down Syndrome require early intervention from different caregivers for example speech, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, behavioural to say a few. These services are not readily available in Nigeria and when you get them they are so expensive that most people can’t afford them. Sometimes, you are not even sure of the person’s qualification.

We also have a non-existence Health care service. Most children with Down syndrome require surgery which has to be done outside Nigeria. In most cases, children are not even diagnosed until almost 6months after birth.

Another heart ripping factor is that yearly checks ought to be conducted on the children eg thyroid check, eye check, and for kids who had heart surgery like mine post-surgery checks and general wellbeing! I recall when my daughter had a bad case of constipation and we had tried everything possible and seen loads of Doctors without a solution! I was almost losing my mind till a friend recommended a doctor who works with special kids before the issue was solved.

We also lack government support. There are no special schools, no inclusive learning. We lack trained social workers and carers to assist parents who just need a break. All these factors make it difficult for most families, especially struggling families to raise children with special needs in Nigeria.

Despite all these challenges, parents should please try to understand and accept their beautiful child/ren. Down syndrome is what it is, and it doesn’t limit the child in any way! The child will become what God, has destined the child to be in his or her own time.

They shouldn’t be compared with their peers, allow them to blossom in their own time! The more you invest in them, the more you get from them. Take them out, let them mix with other kids, have discussions with them (I do this with omorinre all the time).

Bisi

May I use this opportunity to appreciate parents who are raising children with additional needs in Nigeria and other countries that have previously hidden their Special children.

Every child deserves to be seen just as much as they deserve to be heard. Kudos to parents who are defying the norm, and encouraging their children to mix with others and giving them a chance to make a difference in this world. Every day, we see and read about unique people with special needs impacting their world, be it as models, inspirational speakers and so much more.

Remember to be kind and supportive of families raising children with special needs around you.

Aunty Lulu.

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