About Me

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Hiya! Just a quick intro :) I lived in Nigeria for more than half of my life (so far) before moving to England and I have seen the best and the worst of both worlds. I was greatly inspired by the #OccupyNigeria protests and this blog is my way of #occupying. A lot of us compare African countries to the Western countries and I will mainly be talking about the positive things that I have observed and learnt in my few years of living here. Payme’s 2Cents is for all who dare to dream to see changes in their lifetime. It is for those who dream to see environments where 'helping' thrives. I will be giving my2cents worth on how we can work towards getting things to change for better. It would be great to know your opinions, so please leave comments. Remember to keep sharing posts that you enjoy. Follow @payme_my2cents. Thanks a lot for visiting!!! Enjoy my2cents :).

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

It's On You


"If we wish to free ourselves from enslavement, we must choose freedom and the responsibility this entails."
Leo Buscaglia

Do you remember that time your mum decided to heat up the stew but forgot it on the cooker? On realising, she ran to the kitchen with a worried you in tow. Upset, she grumbled angrily, turned to you incredulously and asked “how could you not smell burning??!!!”
One lesson that I think most if not all parents unconsciously teach us kids is that of ‘misplaced responsibility’. I can go on and on with examples.
I must admit that when I first resumed school in England, I hated the word ‘responsibility’. I had always been an ok student – I did my home work, tried to study etc. However, none of this was voluntary. There was always a sense of ‘trouble’ if I did not do them. Teachers would beat me if I did not do my home work and parents would beat me if I failed exams. This system was alright till I got to England. My teachers would say something like “it is your responsibility to get your work done”. I had to do things out of the willingness of my heart.
This is not an article about the extremities in the disciplinary methods employed in different countries so please read within context. I did not hate ‘responsibility’ for any dark reasons. I simply was not used to it. Students were not completely left alone in that we had our teachers’ support whenever we needed it but they did not spend all their time breathing down our necks. We had to face the consequences of our actions and inactions (albeit some consequences would not worry a Naija girl! e.g 15 minutes detention lol).

Sunday, 25 March 2012

MY JOURNEY SO FAR - Joseph's Birthday Message

Happy Birthday to me!

As I grew, the song was there. Its melody keeps beckoning and begging me to sing it.
How many of us know that Life is supposed to be some sweet music whose melody and rhythm bestow Great Glory to God—the Earthmaker?[i] That’s the most recent life lesson that I’ve learnt…and it’s the same that I choose to poetically share in this BIRTHDAY PIECE of mine. It’s a summary of My Journey to Purpose discovery—or more poetically speaking, the discovery of my own part of the Grand Orchestra of Life!
I will share summarily and very poetically 5 scenes. The first will depict how hard it was  ACCEPTING, UNDERSTANDING, AND LIVING MY PURPOSE. Really, how many of us are convinced about our purpose? Yet, the truth is that we’ve all got one! The second will depict A TYPICAL TEMPTATION (and the devil has brought tons of them my way ever since I found The Truth). The third will depict how I found MY LOVE[ii]—who shares the same purpose—same song—with me. (If you are yet to fall in love, you will not want to miss that part...lol). The fourth will be about THE PAIN OF IGNORANCE as I’ve seen in some people that I’d longed to reach out to but who thinks they need no help. And the fifth (the last) will be about MY RESOLUTION and MY RECOMMENDATION—call it my Birthday Gift to You.
  • ACCEPTING, UNDERSTANDING, AND LIVING MY PURPOSE
  • A TYPICAL TEMPTATION
  • MY LOVE
  • THE PAIN OF IGNORANCE
  • MY RESOLUTION and MY RECOMMENDATION

ACCEPTING, UNDERSTANDING, AND LIVING MY PURPOSE
As I grew, the song was there—it has always been! It hangs upon the wind and settles in the meadows wherever I walk. I knew its lovely words and could have sung it from start to finish while I dwelt in the mind of the Earthmaker before the beginning began, but there I was racking my brains to remember the flow of the stanzas. I feared to sing the few bits[iii] that had been permanently etched into my frailty. I feared it won’t be as melodious. And for all I knew, the real song had a harmony and melody that was far too perfect for human ears to understand, and yet indispensable in bringing out the God-colours and God-flavours of this world. I was born. . .to sing a MESSAGE!
God knew that without His help, I won’t be able to sing the song so He kept prodding me. "Sing the Song!" the heavens seemed to cry again and again. "The world never could be complete without the melody that YOU ALONE can sing." But I kept drawing back, sighing that the song that the Earthmaker gave me was higher than the earth, and worse still, I don’t seem to remember it all. So in my agony of longing and reluctance, the atmosphere around me kept arguing back. But as I type today, I’ve gotten enough courage to sing the melody…as far as He reminds me!
It is strange how oftentimes the air speaks. We are sane as long as we hear voices when there are none. We are insane when we hear nothing and worse, we are deaf. Many midnights, the song stirred me to awareness, and with its haunting melody, it drew me with a curious mystery to stand before an open window. In rhapsody it played among the stars. It rippled through Sijuwade Nursery and Primary School and deepened in the four walls of Henry Alex-Duduyemi Memorial College. It swirled in heavy strains from Ambassadors College to Obafemi Awolowo University till it was tied up together and rehearsed again and again in Gombe State. And finally, here I am!
But I’ve not always been like this.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Our Educational Abyss 1

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." Abraham Lincoln.

Students hoping for places in Nigeria’s universities would be sitting their UNIFIED TERTIARY MARTICULATION EXAMINATION (UTME) tomorrow. Best wishes guys!
This got me thinking about the education I left in Nigeria. I could not help but remember the imbalance in the standards of education in different schools, both public and private. I grew up in Ife and there were some public schools that were deemed ok as well as some private ones that were labelled ‘really good’.  University education follows right after secondary school.  The common belief is that students who are in Colleges of Education and Polytechnics are there because they failed JAMB (UTME is organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board so the exam is commonly called JAMB).

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Any Means Necessary

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can." Sydney Smith

An article titled ‘Any Means Necessary’ on BBC caught my eye this morning. It was aimed at portraying the views of the victims of the Lord Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony.
I woke up some weeks back to find #KONY2012 trending on twitter. It was about a video made by a non-profit organisation ‘Invisible Children Inc.’ aimed at increasing public awareness and pressuring government forces to intensify their efforts to capture Joseph Kony. As with any issue in our world, the video generated both positive and negative reactions. 
Over the weekend, another hashtag ‘#saveOke’ caught my eye. It was for Ighiwoto Okeghene ‘Oke’, a young man who has been bedridden for six years due to having diabetes. He has injuries that are not healing and his whole health is failing him. #saveOke also generated positive and negative reactions.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Dammit...I Deserve Better!!!

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” Maya Angelou

So I am extremely upset right now! The 2012 budget for Nigeria is out and it has got tensions running high. A recurring question ever since #occupyNigeria started has however caught my eye.
“What else do you expect?”
This question is usually instantly followed by the seemingly pious ‘lower your expectations and you would not get disappointed’ rhetoric.  Even in our personal lives, we use this expression a lot.
Here is my own question though - “Since when did suffering become synonymous to humility?”
Why should I not expect more? Do I not deserve it? What is the point of friends, family members, churches, schools, government etc. who think nothing of me? Who constantly expect me to put up with mediocrity? Am I so lowly that I have to be resigned to feeding on crumbs? Do I really mean nothing that I have to accept being constantly robbed in broad day light?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Remember To Be Scared

"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."    Dietrich Bonhoeffer    

How many times have you been told to live for the moment? I think we focus so much on forgetting the past and living in the moment that we actually forget the future – the future of our kids, of our brothers and sisters, our future. Seemingly negative emotions can be beneficial when used to kick start positive actions; the trick is to not let the emotions rule you. 

Let’s talk about FEAR!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Payme's profile on www.omojuwa.com!

This happened a little over a week ago :)

MEET OLUWAPEMI ELUJOBA, SHE IS THE BEAUTIFUL SUPERBLOGGER WITH A HEART



She is the very first winner of our SuperBloggers series. Considering the plans and ideas we have for this writers and bloggers competition, I am particularly excited because our first winner is not just a person of competence but also a lady with a big heart. She chose to donate her cash prize to a charity called 1Child1Book an organisation founded bY child songstress Tosin Jegede. She took time out to introduce herself to us. Enjoy the short profile below.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Violent Acts - Lasting Change?

   "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."
                                                                                          Mahatma Gandhi
Do not dismiss this as the musings of a na├»ve girl. Dad has always spoken to me about Nigerian issues (politics, tribal and religious segregation etc.) for as long as I can remember (we are side-kicks lol). We would vent our frustrations, suggest our solutions, and talk about possible miracles that could lead to change – all in our sitting room. Then we would end it all with the resigned knowledge that our country has such a long way to go – conversations like this end up with me feeling deflated when I realise how much ground we still have to cover has a nation. 

I believe I am not the only one who feels like this and I know that these feelings of deflation and frustrations drive the passion behind the on-going calls for protests be it online or on the streets. There are positive and negative effects for different actions, so my question is this: 

Have we really thought about our modes of protests?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Heroes and She-roes


This article has nothing to do with abusive relationships!!!






















                      "Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women's denigration of themselves."
                                                                                               Betty Friedan

I have recently been thinking about some issues to do with the female gender and in light of today being International Women's day, I would like to share one with you :)

There are many beautiful sayings in my language (Yoruba) that describe how much of a blessing mothers are, for instance ‘Iya ni wura – mother is gold’, ‘Orisa bi iya o si laye – there is no idol like a mother in the world’ etc. I am sure that other languages have their own ways of expressing these sentiments. However, there is another saying that is frequently used when praising mothers which does not sit well with me:  

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Truth?



While growing up, we were told things about how big the world is; how it was waiting for us to launch ourselves. We believed if we stuck with school, stuck with our arts, got high grades and graduated successfully, we would be fine. That was until we got thrown in the deep end and roughly woken from our slumber. We start out being simple, nice and kind but end up as hard and cynical adults as the realisation that our expectations have been unrealistic dawns on us.   

Maybe if we had been told the truth about the world all along, we would have learnt to make dreaming and acting our second nature; we would have been focused on working hard and looking for ways to create the environments we dreamt of. Maybe we would not have been expecting to have things laid out for us; we would not have felt like the world owed us anything and our thoughts would have been about what to give.

Monday, 5 March 2012

TAKE A STEP!!!

"Nothing will work unless you do" - Maya Angelou
In light of my previous post, I would like to give some tips on how individuals or groups of people can raise money to support the projects that they have in mind in order to help their communities. I do not expect people to trust strangers with their money, so knocking from door to door, asking for donations will result in little or no funds. Organising activities which would involve donors’ participation would generate more trust. Here are a few tips on how to get started. Enjoy!
Project(s)  
I will advise to start with one project and then build on the success of that. Projects can vary from buying books for your school library, organising a fun day out for the less privileged kids in your area, to organising a grand immunisation scheme awareness for illnesses like Polio, Lassa Fever etc.
Finance
Make sure you know how much money the project requires before you start. You might even get discounts from suppliers who know you are working towards a worthy cause. Be very efficient and realistic with your plans. You gain trust when people can see that you are truly on top of things. Disappointing people is not the way to go!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

To Nkem

 
            "Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone." - George Washington

This is to the memory of my childhood friend ‘Nkem’ (not real name).

I have been quite heartbroken and sad this week; angry too. I have just been told about the death of one of my childhood friends. She passed on four years ago and knowing about this is extremely painful but knowing the cause of her death makes it even worse and this is my way of grieving for her. I think writing will make me feel temporarily better and I hope it does her memory justice. 

We were childhood friends (neighbours). She was sweet and extremely nice. She had three siblings while I have one. We lived in a compound with four flats and a boys-quarter with about five rooms. Her family had three of the rooms in the boys-quarters – one room served as the sitting room (the dad sometimes slept there), the second as the bedroom and the third was their kitchen.  They were poor. Her parents were into farming – mainly Cassava. They trekked for miles to and from their farms daily and on the weekends, Nkem and her siblings went with them. My parents were not rich but we were ‘OK’. There were three other families in the flats and at least one of the parents in these flats had white collar jobs. We all lived in the same compound but still appeared worlds apart. The kids in the flats went to private schools. Nkem and her siblings went to public schools. As kids, it never mattered, we ate together and played together. The flats were all bungalows so we had lots of space in the compound for all types of games – hide & seek, role-plays etc. Childhood was amazing. I remember my sister's 4th birthday – we all had pure unadulterated fun, the type that only kids could have.