20 Facts to a Score

FACT  18
I love my family.

There is so much and nothing to say about them. I can not write enough about my family in this post. On the other hand, why I love them is simple enough, I don’t have to explain.

My family has always been a sturdy pillar of support. My siblings and parents have always believed in me. Much of what I am today is through their encouragement and gentle nudges. 

Not one of  them gets tired of nursing me when I’m sick. Sharing joys and sorrows, we have been through ups and downs together. Being candid is a second skin. What matters is the correction and not whether you like it.

Everyone  is treated on a basis of equality, fairness andjustice. I joke sometimes that my family has a lot to teach the world about democracy.

When I come home I am welcomed with smiles. It might take a while to realize  something untoward in the offing. We pull through thick and thin by sticking together. My family is the greatest gift in the world to me.

What we hold dear is our faith in God.

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20 Facts to a Score

FACT 16
I prefer people who are smart, reasonable,confident etc

What would the world be like without them? When I meet people, there are certain traits I look out for. I like it if they are organized, confident and calm.

Shifty and timid people put me off. Confidence opens otherwise closed doors. Being able to carry out tasks efficiently is endearing to bosses. Intuition and common sense are also required to get by in life. 

I am of the opinion that self-respect and the right amount of pride go a long way in defining someone’s  personality. People have a high level of dignity rarely engage in activities that demean them. Most criminals were bullied as children and thus grew up with low self-esteem. Crimes attract attention to them and give them a false sense of control.

It pays off to be rational and make sense of current happenings with an unbiased mind. It is also neccessary to be practical and realistic in all situations. I like to tell others, ‘Be optimistic but not so much as to be unrealistic’. It helps to separate the idyllic nature of dreams from the reality of life.

I’m not even sure these are the only qualities I like to see in people. I however believe that some of us just have them all. This does not mean the rest of us should give up. 

There is always room for character improvement.

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 15
I drink milk. 

Breast- milk was the only form of nourishment in my infancy. I also enjoyed it as a toddler. It took some time for me to outgrow it. But I was all the better for it in my formative years.

In many cultures, milk is a major part of the diet. In English and American families for example, breakfast is not complete without milk and cereal. Milk is added to coffee, tea, cocoa and porridge.

In Nepal, milk is taken with rice. In Arab countries , milk is a common drink and it is called “laban”. In the Prophet’s time, the sick were given milk to drink. 

Here in Nigeria, nomad Fulani milk their cattle. This provides a big portion of the local milk output. Local foods produced from milk include ‘fura de nunu’ and ‘wara’.

Milk is essential for growing children as it is a major source of calcium and Vitamin D which are needed for strong bones and teeth. It also contains protein, vitamins,minerals and some amount of fat.

In my meals, I combine milk with oats, corn pap, bread, tapioca, corn flakes, Golden morn, garri. It is also used in baking.

What saddens me is that, for all the cattle in the Northern Nigerian grasslands, we still import most of our milk. Nigerian children consider dairy foods a luxury as their parents cannot afford it. This is a grim situation one in which the nutrition of the Nigerian child is being jeopardized.

My advice to parents and older siblings: give young children milk instead of fizzy drinks. This they need for physical growth and mental development.

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 14
I stand against injustice.

Everywhere around us, people are being cheated, stolen from or being deprived. I feel  very sad when these kind of people can neither fight back nor defend themselves. 

Why must the strong oppress the weak? Why do the rich rip off the poor? Why are our leaders treating us this way? The degree of injustice is just too appalling.
I’d illustrate with a few examples.

~ starving a child because she was naughty is not fair. This form of discipline makes no sense

~ sending your wife packing at the slightest provocation or going as far as battering her for silly reasons(only weak men beat their wives) 

~ refusing to pay workers’s wages for their labour.
Maltreating casual workers also falls in this category.

~ when the police becomes your enemy and murder unharmed civilians for refusing to pay bribe

~ the rich using the police and thugs to deal with opponents

~ rape is a form of injustice

~ selling the same piece of land to more than one buyer

~ landlords ejecting tenants on whim

~ bus conductors holding on to passengers’ change
 while drivers wantonly hike fares

~ all forms of cheating in business transactions

~ armed robbers smashing the heads of babies just because the parents have nothing they can steal

~ aborting a foetus because you do not want to face responsibility

~ political office holders helping themselves to the public treasury while they abandon the masses and their needs

~ bullying

~ doctors denying a patient adequate treatment because he is poor

~ discrimination on basis of gender, race, tribe or religion

~ a suicide bomber setting off his bomb in a crowded marketplace, church or mosque

~ sexual harassment

~ blackmail

~ election rigging

~ when siren-blaring governors  brutalize a young mother and her children because she did not  give way

~ when militarymen beat up a woman and her colleagues for daring to compete with them on the road 

~even traffic officials brutalise motorists

~ forcing women and children into hard unpaid labour or prostitution( home and abroad)

~ when drug manufacturers sell fake drugs that kill patients including babies

~ starting a war based on lies, occupying a country under false pretexts,causing the death of innocent  civilians, destroying their heritage and future

~ taking inadequate safety measures around nuclear establishments leading to horrible diseases and mutation in the local population

~ keeping people in prison without trial
 
I said a few right? If you can identify each of these scenarios, then you know many more.
In every case of injustice, the one with the upper hand subjugates the weaker. The latter can not resist. The oppressor knows this and exploits the victims. 
No matter how insignificant it may seem, injustice is injustice.

One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the world’s major religions condemn injustice yet ‘believers’ are the worst culprits when they commit atrocities in the name of religion.

Please let us stop this in whatever way we can, even if it means returning a stolen sweet to a crying child.

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 13
I used to interrupt conversations.

Oumissa had this irritating habit of cutting people off in the middle of their sentences. Apart from beimg rude, this attitude made whoever was talking lose interest in what they were saying. 
If the conversation involved more than two , the atmosphere then became uncomfortable. She knew this was a bad habit and did not like being at its receiving end . But she didn’t seem to know how to stop. 
Over the years, she had been admonished and sometimes reprimanded for this but it wasn’t any better.
Then one evening, she heard someone quote an Hadith, “The greatest respect you can give your brother or sister is to listen to them when they speak”. It seemed the message was specifically directed to her. She strengthened her resolve there and then to change for the better.
Even though it has been a little difficult (old habits,they say, die hard), I have noticed a marked improvement in her discussions.
I sincerely hope she doesn’t relapse to her old ways.

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 12
I am a Nigerian. 

You might be wondering why I didn’t put this up earlier. You might even think I was worried that the negative image of my country would rub off on your perception of me. The reason why my nationality is the twelfth fact about me is that I think of myself as more of an international citizen. I believe who you are is more important than which country you are from.

I’ve spent most of my life in Lagos but my family comes from somewhere up- country. This is not uncommon as only a little percentage of Lagosians are indigenes.

Nigeria is located in West Africa. Her culture is diverse. Though the major languages/ethnic groups are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, there are numerous other cultural identities.
 
Nigeria was colonized by the British and she gained her independence on the 1st day of October 1960. The national flag consists of three columns painted green, white and green.The
official language is English.

Abuja, a city located in the central part of the country, has been the capital since 1991. Petroleum is the mainstay of the economy even though the country is rich in agriculture and other mineral resources. There are 36 states and the system of governance is democratic. The literacy rate is about 70%. Nigerians have an average life expectancy of 48 years.

Asides Lagos and Abuja, other major cities include Ibadan, Enugu, Kano, Oyo, Onitsha, Jos, Sokoto and Benin. The population is approximately 140 million with an annual growth rate of 2% making it the most populous black nation on earth. The major religions are Islam and Christianity although many people practise traditional religions. The national currency is the naira.

Lagos is the largest city, the main port and the economic, cultural and intellectual hub. With a population of over fifteen million, it is one of the largest cities in the world. It was the capital city from independence until 1991. Lately it has been undergoing a lot of transformation.

I can not say enough about my country now but I would cut it short here by saying,”I’m glad to be Nigerian”

Source : Encarta

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 11
I do not shake hands with men.

I’ve got two reasons for this.
First, I never really liked handshakes. Whenever someone extends a hand, I can’t help but think of the places that hand has been to or how many surfaces it must have touched. You can’t blame me, I’m always trying to avoid germs. I always preferred to hug.

Secondly, as a Muslimah I avoid unnecessary physical contact with men outside of my family. This is out of modesty and not pride. I simply do not subscribe to the fact that physical contact and attractiveness will earn me male attention. I rather much prefer to be judged by my intellect and not by any part of my body. And so, I really do not understand why there is so much fuss whenever I politely refuse these handshakes.

When I greet anyone, I usually do so with a smile. That’s about as far as it would go if you are male. For females, I might give a hug if we are close friends but I steer clear of handshakes. Many people do not even wash their hands after making use of the restroom!

Sometime ago, a British study revealed that hugging reduces the spread of flu as handshakes spread germs. I know we can’t totally stay away from germs. Of course that’s why we have immunity but I still squirm inside when I touch surfaces in public places – bank counters, door knobs, elevator buttons,bus handbars and even naira notes!
One thing I’m sure of is that I reduce my exposure to germs by half by sticking to my little principle.