Dealing with grief Mental health Social


Credit: Google image

So I spent the whole of yesterday at the hospital over some sort of medical emergency and at some point it seemed to me like too many people departed us yesterday. From my dear friend losing her baby sister to leukaemia, to my old school mate losing his very energetic father, to my doctor friend whose father equally passed, to news of a woman I admired so much, Ibidun Ighodalo and several other deaths I saw as I scrolled through the social media yesterday; mostly family members of people dear to me. It felt as though everyone chose yesterday for a reason. Who knows, heaven may have had a reason?

Having heard too many news of death for one day, seeing dead bodies, listening to the sounds of different mourning cries and lamentations, it was albeit remarkable to notice how people received news of the death of loved ones.

One striking thing I equally noticed yesterday was how different people in the same family reacted differently to the news of their loved ones passing. I watched a man walk confused, he was like a deranged person. I watched another woman in confusion walk to the deceased, calling him forth in faith and crying at the loss all in a split second, I watched another scream down the hospital, yet another looking on at the deceased man and sobbing in quiet tears. All of the same family. But the one I will not forget was the pretty young lady who was standing closest to the doctor when he pronounced the man dead, she had immediately rushed to the waiting tricycle that the deceased was rushed in and had quickly held on to his hands lovingly.

The man was lifeless, she knew somewhere in her subconscious state, she had just listened to the doctor say her relative was dead but she received two telephone calls moments later where she informed her callers how the hospital had just abandoned “brother” in front of the A&E and no one was willing to attend to them. She had angrily even ended the telephone call on her second caller with the words, “I dey tell you say them no wan attend to am you dey talk another thing for there.” I felt for her.

It was after that second telephone call that a ward staff gently told the lady to take courage and know that truly the man was gone. Then the lady looked at me and asked, “Is he really dead?” I held back my tears and managed to hold a deep stare as I could not even mutter an appropriate answer…oh the pain, the fright, the confusion, the lost expression on her face… how can I ever forget that scene or erase yesterday from my memory?

A few seconds passed before she let out a loud and deafening scream and then the following words, “I refuse to accept that he’s dead. Are they saying brother is dead?” At this point I let a tear escape and had to walk away from the scene. The rest members of her family had taken in the news earlier and found different ways they knew to express their pain, it had taken this lady a longer time to come to terms with what the doctor had said. Her pain was palpable.

I remember one time last year, my friend had just been bereaved. His two year old had died and he could not easily get over the pain. Many months later and he would still be in grief. Then we had a conversation. I had chatted him up that fine Monday morning and he said to me, “Povwe (that’s how he has chosen to call me forever), am I grieving too much? Do you think I am crazy?” My honest response was an emphatic “No, you are not!” I went further to state, “It’s okay to grieve Femi, I can only comfort you and help you find the healing you need, but by all means, if you feel pain, don’t beat yourself up about it.”

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

— Matthew 5:4

Femi went on to share how the previous day, his older sister had called him an attention seeker for still grieving a “child” many months after death. He was told to shrug it off and go make another baby. His siblings by this time were all pissed at him for not “moving on.” For God’s sake. I did not blame him for feeling they were being insensitive. He had been reminded countlessly by family and friends that he was a man and men do not behave in the manner that he was behaving.

Heck! It is never easy dealing with grief and there is no one way to grieve. Oftentimes when we are dealt grief we react differently just as our pain and tolerance thresholds are totally different. Frankly, there is no too much or too little way to grieve. As much as we would love our loved ones to come out of grief, we cannot force that out of them. If we are concerned about how people deal with grief we can help them seek professional help but by all means, it is not in our place to judge or to condemn them. It is hard enough what they are going through. Plus it is totally unpleasant and distasteful to force or project our idea of grieving on others.

For starters we must accept that there are absolutely no timelines and it will take as long as it takes. If we try too much to force or project our ideas on a person passing through grief we may end up causing them to isolate. It is a process and for most, they will eventually adjust to their loss. As much as we can, we should allow them their own distinctive experience. It’s okay to just be silent when you’re at a loss for words. A simple hug, a kind message, a helping hand… Just be there for them, that is all that matter.

For some people, huge parts of them died when their loved ones did and so things may never be the same, a lot will change. We must never make them feel they are acting out of the ordinary simply because we believe we will act differently given the same circumstances. Let us respect the wishes of others especially when it is not really about us.

“Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.”
Patti Smith

Sadly too, for some people, reaching out to others in their moments of grief is not a culture that is well known to them. Some will even try to make the moment about them. You hear things like: “Don’t cry oh, when my own so and so died if you see cry,” “My dear thank God it was a child,” “Your own is even better, my time ehh…” Dear Lord! Let us learn to keep our losses or other people’s losses away when we are dealing with people passing through this phase. Bringing up our losses or the losses of others at a time when we should be comforting a grief survivor is certainly not going to help them feel better and it also does not show that you understand the situation.

This morning I saw a video making the rounds and a lot of bashing on Pastor Ituah Ighodalo. I know how much my post connects with it but frankly, it is not even the very reason for my post. However, I am glad that it coincides with it as it makes this post necessary on many levels. I would have the same opinion if a woman had lost her husband. As far as I know, Pastor Ituah may still be in denial phase, he may even have had a premonition and it prepared him for what was to come. It just could have been anything but what is for sure is that certainly the man is in grief.

At the end of the day, in dealing with situations like this, one thing is paramount: “some things are better left unsaid.”

May the souls of all the departed rest in peace. Amen.

© PY Zimughan-Ogunbajo

Rape Sexual abuse Sexual violence Social Violence against persons


Image credit: Facebook post

I have been truly sad since I saw the trending hashtag #justiceforuwa and read the sordid details of the horrendous crime done to her.

Who will guarantee the safety of our lives? Where do we go for protection… for safety? Rape is a grievous offence and its victims may never recover. More often than not the scar remains for eternity. Why will anyone subject another to a lifetime of torture?

Uwa was not just raped, she was attacked with a fire extinguisher and died a painful death. In some Nigerian communities, a deceased who died as a result of rape and in the horrendous manner that Uwa died, will be buried in some “evil forest” or another community in a bid to “ward off evil and calamity.” Let us not even delve into that. The resulting effects from rape are just enormous.

Since I first came across the news of Uwa’s death, I have repeatedly tried to put pen on paper but no words… nothing feels right to say. Sadly, rape apologists and enablers have been all over the social media, ranting and bragging, victim-shaming and making light of what should be collectively condemned without recourse to sentiments.

How does anyone even make light of rape? Human life is sacrosanct and no one deserves to die in this manner. No one – male and female alike. Posterity will not forgive us as a society if we killed Uwa one last time by doing nothing to bring about justice. This crime must be strongly condemned in its entirety and stringent measures must be put in place to bring the perpetrator(s) to book, only then can she find justice.

“the end of the law is justice and woe is the law if it fails to produce the needed justice.”

– Unknown

As a child advocate, I wish to state that while it is true that males get raped too, it is however not the right time to peddle that narrative. First of all, it is certainly not the issue at hand. Secondly, it is not right to shut people up from speaking at this time. Thirdly, a girl was raped and it is what it is; we are not on about a male who was raped at the moment. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, it is plain wrong, distracting and selfish to do this each time we speak up for the girl child.

Image: as seen on Facebook

I will fail with this post if I do not point out that all men are not rapists and we do not live in fear of men generally. I have come across disturbing posts and articles that aim to paint that picture. I will not tow that line. Several hurtful and indifferent comments aimed at making light of the offence of rape especially with regards to the girl child have stemmed from arguments like that. We are humans, we have one race (the human race), we have one identity; we must unite in times like this to strongly condemn rape. It is not the time to bicker and pick little battles.

No one deserves to be raped and there is never an excuse for rape, NOT EVEN ONE! The fault always rests with the rapist whose eyes see nothing more than the satisfaction of selfish and sinful desires.

Together we must unite in the fight against rape. We must unite for justice. We must unite to say no to rape!




Photo: Google free stock

“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.”

  • A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

I woke up realizing how pre covid-19, children across the nation would have been in high spirits today, eager to take on different challenges and engage in fun activities lined up by schools and even families to make the children’s day a truly special one.

As children in Nigeria, May 27 is always a day to look forward to. There are usually loads of events taking place today. From match pasts at the stadiums to quizzes, debates and competitions ranging from essays, spelling bees plus a host of other amazing activities.

However, today will register in the minds of our children and us adults as different. I would like to look on the bright side of this and not see it as unfortunate. If there is anything I have learnt in this isolation it is the fact that a lot of us now value the times spent with our kids and loved ones and we better appreciate the jobs of their teachers as well as caregivers. Covid-19 in other words has given us reasons to bond with our children differently. Isn’t that fabulous?

Oh well, on this truly memorable day when we remember our dear children I want to remind us of a few important things to consider about these precious ones who are God’s sweetest gifts to us:

  1. “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

– Margaret Mead

  We are not called to supplant their minds with ours but to support them. As parents and guardians let us allow them be children. We should trust them enough to play and even to make mistakes. They need some level of responsibility and independence for stability. Children want to learn and they are happiest when they are given responsibilities. Our job is to guide them.

2. “Never miss an opportunity to tell your child, “I love you.”” – Unknown

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. This cannot be over emphasized. There is utmost need for us to make their lives memorable with fine things to remember. There are a number of inexpensive as well as absolutely free ways to achieve this. These children are fragile and sad experiences has the potential of causing lifelong damage in them. Please and please, let us not ignore this. The key thing is to make memories as much as we can.

3. Children need models rather than critics. – As parents we are the only persons not allowed to judge our children. They will make mistakes; more often than not they will make loads of them. We must be intentional in accepting them and loving them even at those times. We must connect with them to effect any positive correction.

4. “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

– James A. Baldwin

5. “The secret of enthusiasm is to preserve the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” –Aldous Huxley

Children are great imitators. – We must be careful of our actions, inactions, words and in fact all that we do around them. We must watch all that we allow around them as they learn majorly from what they see and hear. We want to show and tell them only the right things. It is our duty to give these children something great to imitate.

Children are likely to live up to what we believe of them. How much do we believe in them? This perhaps is the most important point of them all. If we believe in these children we will watch them soar like the eagle. It works like magic.

Dearest parents and guardians, we are equally children to our parents/guardians. Some people craved love but did not experience it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we gave our children the love and all that we may never have had but so craved?

Happy children’s day celebration!!! I trust you all had a swell day?

domestic violence Social Violence against persons


(A campaign against domestic violence)

Image: Google free stock

“Never forget that walking away from something unhealthy is brave even if you stumble a little on your way out the door.” ― Unknown

So I’m sitting in front of my computer, thinking about the woman who passed on a fortnight ago. Her name was Amina. She had the loveliest set of teeth I had ever seen. I knew this, oh yes, I knew it because she always wore the best smiles.

I remember thinking on different occasions that Amina went to bed smiling as she almost always had a smile on. I am still trying to remember if I ever saw her without a smile because she would smile even while talking.

Great surprise how Amina had died of a heart attack on that fateful Tuesday, even more baffling were the terrible marks on her body and realising she was depressed even though she died of other causes.

I was at the Federal Clinic when she was rushed in. Initially I had no idea who it was but when the doctors tried to resuscitate her and then the scariest words I ever heard were said, “we lost her”… I looked on in shock and then I saw her… it was Amina. I could have sworn she still had the perfect smile in death.

Then the curiosity of an observant doctor played out and he enquired on what had led to the incident. I noticed an elderly woman beside herself with pain, shaking, crying, her eyes filled with deep regrets, it felt as though she had lost everything. I pitied her.

She had this look towards Amina’s husband who was muttering an explanation that didn’t quite add up to that doctor. The doctor tried to elicit some more answers from Mr. Igodo (Amina’s husband) and he kept giving dodgy answers. Then maybe as divine providence wanted it, Dr. Wilson noticed the crying woman and asked… “your daughter?” She gave a weak nod in the affirmative and suddenly Mr. Igodo became uncomfortable.

I didn’t quite hear the question that followed but the woman sank onto the floor of the A&E and gave the loudest heart wrenching cry and then she cursed and cussed and turned on to blame herself.

She had dared the doctor to see the marks all over the deceased. She repeatedly said, “see the marks, see them all over…my daughter complained, she was sad, very sad, she even attempted suicide twice… I thought this would get better, I kept encouraging her even when she suddenly became hypertensive…now Attah has killed her…Attahiru Igodo you have killed my child, my only child.” Hot tears streamed down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe it.

Dr. Wilson had quickly invited the police and Mr. Igodo was arrested. I remember Amina’s mother mumbling to herself, “medicine after death. Of what use is this now when she is dead? Had I known!”

Amina was a victim of domestic violence and had carried her pains with “grace” or so she thought. She masked it all with a charming smile and no one ever suspected she was dead on the inside. Worse still she had reached out to her family severally and they bullied her into remaining in an abusive environment.

She had lived with hypertension from her mid-twenties and the stress from her marriage worsened the illness. She was a full time mum and with no real savings of her own, felt there was no other option than continue to “cope”. Amina was being beaten yet again when she slumped and was rushed to the hospital. Sadly, this time she did not make it. Her 4 year old twins are now motherless.

As I type on my computer, I have the tears again thinking upon the fact that Amina is gone and now all there is left are regrets. She is no more. Yet another preventable death…

* * * * * * * * * * *

This piece attempts to bring to the fore the dangers of domestic violence. No one should remain in a toxic and physically abusive environment. Leave to live! It does not matter if you want things to work out in that situation, mend whatever bridges or fences from a distance.

Too many people have tried to “cope” and they lost their lives in the process. They left behind everything and what is even worse is the regret that those who advised them to stay, have to deal with for the rest of their lives. The statistics are alarming and more and more women as well as men are victims of domestic violence. Please leave to live! Say no to domestic violence.

#leavetolive #saynotodomesticviolence #stopdomesticviolence #mentalhealth #speakup #yourhealthfirst #lifefirst #youfirst #fiction #PYwrites



Hello there,

Image credit: self medication stock vector

It’s a brand new week. First of all, Eid Mubarak to all Muslim faithful out there. I like to think that you have had a great Sallah. For us in Nigeria, we are balling since it’s a parte after parte kinda new week with a line up of holidays and jolly activities inside one big HOLIDAY! There is Sallah break, Children’s day, NYSC POP, Democracy day…and of course the compulsory covid-19 lockdown break across most states of the Federation. So it’s happy holidays to every one of us.hehe.

Oh well, to the reason for today’s topic, I find it somewhat worrisome when I come across social media posts that seek to find medical solutions to obvious medical problems, online. Ever so often I see posts on say Facebook that goes, “please hide my identity. My baby has some type of rash and I have applied XYZ with no luck, please mummies what can I do to clear it? Help a sister” and almost always they end it with “please no insults.”

You have probably come across similar or even worse posts. My biggest worry always stems from the fact that firstly, with kids no one should even have to risk Facebook or internet diagnosis and/or treatment in the first place. Paediatric cases hardly thrive on trial and error medication.

Secondly, these mummies, and sometimes daddies too, don’t they get confused at the many different solutions peddled before them? I mean, for the post above you would get answers ranging from “rub the baby native chalk… give him/her agbo to drink… bathe with cold water henceforth… take her to those Yoruba women that sell herbs they will prescribe the one that you can rub and drink… burst the rash open then mix the water with camphor and rub on baby’s head… use lime and ginger to bathe… madam dry your baby under sun then afterwards take off diaper and rub Vaseline mixed with Indian hemp… please take her to a chemist they will mix kill and dry for you” …then you will suddenly sight a lone comment struggling to survive that says “madam take that child to the hospital” and perhaps another, “baby tribotan ma.”

Aha! Have you seen the ones for stooling and vomiting? Facebook doctors will prescribe all sorts for anonymous poster “please give him freshly squeezed scent leaf… no, bitterleaf works faster… wait, use lime ooo, grate a bit of the zest into it… squeeze his bathing soap and shove it down his anus jor… you must see “take child to the hospital somewhere” in the comments, it is usually always drowning. Diarrhoea that can kill the child even before the parent recovers from the confusion of different “solutions” offered on Facebook and decides he or she is ready to go with an option. My question is why do people do this? Which advice amongst the lot will the parent be able to choose from?

Okay enough, actually, today I decided to read randomly across the social media and I stumbled on an interesting post in one group I follow on Facebook. The poster was confused as usual, the garlic she shoved into her vagina had wandered away and lost its focus. The thing disappeared. Now she was worried and needed solution. I would love to think it melted away but my friend Dorathy believes otherwise. She says it was probably waiting for manual excavation once it finishes its job as a sanitizer. Hehehe.

Trust the Facebook doctors, ever ready to dole out generous advice, mostly hilarious but then it made me reflect on the need to share this message. As I rummaged through the barrage of solutions, I realised one thing, a lot of us women have relocated our kitchens. When it is not garlic we are stuffing in there it is cooking with boiling water or onion to kill germs, next we could be adding salt and seasoning. When we are not cooking away infections we are installing beads and pearls and crystals and tightening vessels and weapons – we just must be fixing something there sha. I am worried.

There is little we need to maintain our reproductive organs as women. The medical experts have repeatedly told us that the vagina is self-cleansing and does not need too much drama. Let us allow it rest too.

Meanwhile, there are those who swear by these alternatives especially herbs. The argument usually advanced is that our forebears used same and they recovered from whatever ailments. They may be correct. I am not a herbalist neither am I a fan of anything not prescribed by a trained medical practitioner for the treatment of ailments. I believe if you have tooth ache, see a dentist, even if extraction is the only remedy, the dentist knows why. If your obgyn suggests Csection, please go ahead, he knows why. If your mental health therapist suggests medication, please take it, he knows why. Not everytime we do trial and error.

I was participant at a seminar sometime in August of 2019 and the medical doctor who handled the health talk segment made a remarkable comment when posed with the question above, and which I find apt for responding whenever I am confronted with similar analysis.

He had said while it may be true that our forebears used herbs to treat themselves and our medications are mostly produced from herbs, what is certain is that some of these people did not also know that while one thing was being cured another was being damaged. This is because a lot of our herbs have not been refined and as such proper dosage cannot be ascertained. So the likelihood of using a particular herb to cure maybe a fever can lead to damage of an internal organ.

I remember once when I watched a baby die on the bed next to where my son was admitted. It was a pathetic sight. What was even sadder was the fact that the death was purely avoidable. The parents who got tired of handling their very sick child at home at the orders of an untrained doctor who also extorted unimaginable sums of money from them and would later refer them to the hospital when the child became too sick, ended up blaming the doctor for not resuscitating their child. It was a painful sight. It was also very shocking. The native doctor who treated them earlier was equally standing there, blaming them for not knowing when to seek professional help. This life is not just balanced at all.

If you want medical lecture, please go to the hospital. If you want to find a Facebook doctor because this post is titled so, please shift from my face first, go to the hospital, the real Facebook doctors work there. Hahaha.

Bottom line of this is simple, please, if you have medical concerns it is always safest to see a doctor. Leave Facebook and social media platforms generally, alone, these are not hospitals. The chances are slim for a “real” doctor to see and advice you properly on the social media. Go to a trained healthcare professional with your complaints.

Self-medication has almost always led to irreversible problems. If you still want to be heady because your ancestors used that route, please leave your innocent children out of it, these babies are helpless. Help them to stay alive. Then for the aunties who are cooking…hehe, abeg, your food don done ehn. It haff do.

Good evening darlings.


May, 2020


Tobi – The Boy

DISCLAIMER: This piece contains graphic description which may be sensitive to reader.

Image source: free google vector

Tobi was the toast of St. Patrick’s High School, Igbida. At age 12, he already spotted a towering stature, paired with a confident gait and he appeared smarter than most of his peers.

Tobi spoke the English language with the most refined diction and was a pro at mimicking accents, an attribute which made him every teacher’s favourite and the envy of students at St. Patrick’s. He was an equally great sprinter and to the delight of his peers, could twang on a guitar in the most unconventional ways.

Tobi loved the Arts so much and was a budding star. At his young age, he was vast in his comprehension of the minutest details in literature and he understood blends of colours in Fine Arts, notes in Music and English language composition- all in great depths.

Everyone knew Tobi as a brilliant and confident chap and he was easily one of those in the class whose future was predicted to be unmistakably bright.

Aunt Clara had fiddled with his genital severally in the past but that evening she had encouraged him to maintain his manly erection which had followed. Tobi remembered her taking off her purple thongs but he ironically did not realise his innocence was snatched in that split second.

He remembered feeling pleasure from the warmth of her lips on his swollen penis…he remembered the surge of adrenaline and blood building generously around his genitalia. Aunt Clara had secured a full erection before sitting on him and slowly lowering herself onto him whilst gently guarding it into her vagina.

She had let out a moan which Tobi found amusing. Suddenly she started to move her waist in rotations, albeit rather slowly before gaining momentum and doubling her pace.

Tobi had remembered the build up of what he felt was pleasure and mixed emotions that made him scream for a “leak” but before he could help it, he had emptied his “leak” in Aunt Clara’s vagina.

In that moment, he looked down at his genital, limp, wondering how the excitement and what he felt was heightened pleasure suddenly died and he had no idea if or how aunt Clara had enjoyed what had just happened. He deeply questioned his rationality as he believed he should have enjoyed every bit of it as aunt Clara promised. He rather felt a strong feeling of guilt, worry and shame.

Aunt Clara seemed unperturbed and had told him that he was “now a big boy” and was lucky to have been “exposed” on her watch.

She would repeat the act severally in the weeks and months that followed. Soon, for Tobi, it became something to look forward to.


He stood in utter shock and disgust as to what had taken place yet again, a few minutes ago.

However, months down the line and little Tobi had become a shadow of his once bubbly self. He had no idea what was wrong with him and wondered why he was acting abnormally.

He could hardly live a day without craving Aunt Clara’s unclad body or even masturbating for relief whenever she was away. He had begun patronising the local film vendor for pornographic movies and the local newspaper vendor for erotic magazines. What was however constant was that with each act of masturbation he would feel a strong sense of guilt and filth.

Somehow he knew his life was messed up and there was no one he could really confide in. With every act he would recline into himself, unable to describe why he felt so guilty and dirty following what seemed pleasurable.

Who would he talk to about his fears and worries? Everyone would laugh at him. He was a big boy afterall. A lanky 12-year-old whom everyone in school wanted to identify with.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
**6 years later**

Back in therapy, Tobi recalled how following the incident he had reached out to his best friend Smart, who would later ridicule him for saying he was “disvirgined” by Aunt Clara. Smart had told him that he was a man and should have instead been grateful for the encounter.

He vehemently reiterated that he was not in anyway sexually abused by Aunt Clara as he thought he enjoyed every bit of what she had taught him even though it left him with guilt feelings and resentment for women in general.

In fact, he would argue with Dr. Damini that his marijuana and pornography addictions could not have been as a result of that experience. He had only always thought himself a bad boy who just couldn’t live right.

Tobi however recounted memories of the nights when all he could do was fantasize about Aunt Clara’s naked body and he would masturbate afterwards before he could find relief and sleep eventually. A situation which soon became an addiction that when Aunt Clara was unavailable to satisfy his sexual cravings he would resort to pornography and masturbation. Painfully, each time he orgasmed he felt so much disgust, pain, filth, shame and even frustration. He could never understand why he had to keep resorting to something that caused him so much agony because each time he had to wrestle with the after effect of his deeds.

He told of how he discovered a new addiction in a bid to distract himself from the “unholy pleasures” of masturbation and pornography. He had found solace in marijuana. The feeling which for him was intense and numbing in the beginning and he would even convince himself that the lust after Aunt Clara and the adult film stars in the X-rated movies he was hooked on, were no longer there. Unfortunately, in his low moments, he had realised that the marijuana even heightened his cravings for pornography and sexual acts.

He admitted he had battled severally with suicidal feelings and isolation, which the doctor told him was depression. But until therapy, Tobi had no idea how badly damaged he was from that early sexual encounter by his dear aunt Clara.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
I am Dr. Damini and as I look deeply into the dark and lonely eyes of my broken new friend Tobi, I can see through the masked bitterness and anger, the feelings of guilt, filth, betrayal, lost sense of worth, and above all, the heart shattering sadness of the bottled up pain… My heart bleeds for the boy child who has no voice.

In that moment, I managed to mutter, “let me be your voice my friend”… Let me be your voice, I said!

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

There is a lot of girl child advocacy out there that we oftentimes neglect the equally vulnerable boy child. This piece is written to fill a possible lacuna in child advocacy.

Female predators oftentimes go unnoticed. The boy child also needs a voice. Statistics has it that more males commit suicide. A lot of boys are unable to speak up as society expects a false sense of strength from a male figure. Let us end the biases. The days where it was a taboo for a man to cry have long ended. Now we teach our boys that it is okay to cry, it is okay to have a voice too.

The male gender is less likely to seek help for depression and suicidal thoughts because society has placed a faux taboo on male “weakness” in moments of pain. This only makes them more susceptible to death by suicide despite having lesser statistics than women who are more likely to attempt suicide, but less likely to die by suicide.

ATTN: The story in this piece is purely fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

(C) 2019


Yvonne Zimughan-Ogunbajo

Yvonne holds an LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law from Swansea University in Wales, United Kingdom. She is a Legal Practitioner, current Publicity Secretary of FIDA Bayelsa Branch and a Writer. She is passionate about Child Right’s Advocacy, Mental Health Advocacy, Rotary International, Teaching and Volunteering. She loves writing, baking, photography and the Arts in general. Yvonne lives with her familly in Yenagoa, Nigeria.


No to suicide

Daily we awake to posts saying no one has the right to take his life. These people dying by suicide know this but the mind is sick. They are sick and need help. If we can show love more maybe some of these guys would still be here because their illness may not have had to degenerate to that level where they see suicide as the only option.

Just like malaria and every other medical condition which if left untreated will progress into something severe and which may or may not have a cure, mental illness is also a progressive illness. Early detection is key. Treatment is key. It will help a lot of things.

It goes beyond just saying don’t take a life you didn’t create. The illness must be treated otherwise we have the problem lingering until it eventually gets worse. It takes treatment to make a sick person well. Let’s not stay and only judge without making a move to help.

May God heal every grieving heart and give hope to the broken hearted. Suicide will never be the solution.


#ichoosetolive #notosuicide #suicide prevention #mentalhealth


On depression

One of the worst feelings ever is dying inside with no one else seeing what you are going through. It is especially tough to go through the dark road of depression because oftentimes people don’t even know you are ill. Common word people tell you is “you don’t look sick”.

Depression is not an easy thing to live with and deal with and a lot of support will help people who are experiencing low moments. Being kind to someone isn’t too much to ask for…it isn’t too difficult to try…it is doable and will go a long way in making our world a better place.

Suicide is on the increase because a lot of people are hard up and they feel like there’s no one else that understands. Society makes it particularly tough for people to even share their struggles and pains because of stigmatisation.

Mental wellbeing is just as great as our physical wellbeing. The fight to stay alive should be our common goal. Show love to someone today.


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton