Children learn languages from their mothers | Featured Artiste: Kefee

If you are familiar with African culture, or specifically, Nigerian culture, you would know this saying: If a child is good, he belongs to the father, but if the child is bad, he belongs to his mother.  In other words, if a child is good and successful, the father gets the glory, but if the child misbehaves or fails at something, the blame is put on the child's mother.  I thought this was an African thing.  That is, until I saw this in the Bible:

A wise child[a] brings joy to a father;
a foolish child brings grief to a mother.

Needless to say, I have since concluded that it is a global trend. After coming to such a conclusion, the question that came to mind was "Then, what part of the child's upbringing do we give women credit for?" See where I am going with this? A few more steps and you'll see what I mean.

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Children tend to spend more time with their mothers rather than their fathers.  This might be because of career choices (i.e. the man works and the woman is a "stay-at-home" mum, i.e. house-wife.  I doubt that the term "House-husband" will stick around as long as "House-wife" has).  Where both parents work full-time though, speaking another language might depend on various factors e.g. whether or not the parents speak the language (or emphasize it) at home, the fluency of the parent(s) who speak the language(s), the child's interaction with other native language speakers and their fluency, etc.  By language, I am of course referring to any other language apart from English (or whatever your lingua franca is).

Liebster Blog Award | Featured Artiste(s): Take Phive

Last week Monday, I checked my e-mail and received a pleasant surprise:  AdeOla Fadumiye of JostWrite nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! To say I was pumped and ecstatic for the rest of the day is an understatement.  It's a wonder I didn't bounce off the walls!  So, this is me saying a big "Thank You" to AdeOla. I really and truly appreciate it.  If you haven't already, you should check out her blog, JostWrite.

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Apart from relentlessly trying to uncover my real identity (Yawn! I will come out when I am ready jare) she is a very efficient and energetic freelancer (Congrats again on the new logo).  I encourage you to visit her blog and you'll be inspired, believe me.

Just in case you were wondering what the Liebster Blog Award was, here's some brief info, courtesy of JostWrite, of course: "This award we’ve discovered is given to bloggers who inspire you and have less than 200 followers. The Liebster Award takes its name from the German word meaning 'Beloved, Dearest or Favorite.' "

And now for the terms and conditions:

7 Common Hair Styles for Nigerian School Girls

Growing up in Lagos, one of my not-so-fond memories (especially during my primary school years) was going to the market on weekends, to get my hair braided in preparation for school the following week.  As you already know, I was not alone.  Both me and my sister had to go through this ordeal week after week.  Of course there was the usual compare and contrast twins undergo with strangers, market women included.  Fun Apeere (For Example):

Market Woman (addressing the young, shy and scanty-haired Relentless): "Why is your own hair so scanty and your sister's hair is full?"

Relentless (At least, what my response should have been): "I don't know! Ask God!"

But that would have earned me a good slap from the said market woman, and even more slaps and a good round of caning by my mother, if she heard I had committed such an "atrocity." The conversation did not end there though, as you shall see.

Market-woman-turned-dermatologist (addressing both of us):  When you get home, tell your mummy to use *Adi-agbon (coconut oil) for your hair.

Relentless (thinking to herself): Adi-agbon ko, Adi-agbado ni!

Without boring you with any further details of my childhood, or going into details of the various unsavory "post-wiwi" odors I had to endure, all in the name of plaiting suku or kolese on my head, I decided to compile a list of hair styles that are common amongst school girls. Of course, you had to do these hair styles WITHOUT any attachments, i.e. hair extensions.  That was reserved for holidays.  (N.B:  I might compile a similar list for boys later on, but so far, the only entries I have are "Tyson" and "Gorimapa")

I had primary school and secondary school students in mind for this post. Here are the contenders (in no particular order):

Sex Education 101: At what age should you start teaching children | Featured Artiste: Moji Olusoji

"Mummy, where do babies come from?"  That's one of the dreaded questions parents have to answer at some point in their children's lives.  Nigerian parents are not exempt, and inasmuch as our culture seems to treat such discussions as taboo, it is imperative that parents teach their children early on about sex.  Why? Well, I can give you a bunch of reasons, but how about this one for starters:  If you don't teach them, someone else will (friends, strangers, tapes that are marked "Dora the Explorer" but have a rather grown-up "Dora" in there, wearing a questionable looking "school uniform" and she's not teaching kids Spanish, if you know what I mean *trying to keep a straight face*).  It's generally agreed that you should start talking to children in early childhood, but the question arises: what is the RIGHT age to broach the subject?

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Exit Stage Left (Right) | Featured Artiste: Provabs

There is a proverb that goes along these lines:

Twenty Children cannot play together for twenty years

What that means is that you need to know when your part in people's lives is done, i.e. when to make a graceful exit.  But that's the problem: how do you know WHEN to say "deuces" and beat it? I am not only referring to 'love relationships' here, but rather, friendships in general.  At what point do you decide that this is how far we shall go with our friendship, go your way, and I'll go my way?  You're trying to process it, ba? Me too.

In certain situations, deciding when to jabbor your friends is a no-brainer.  For example, I can understand the need to avoid a person who keeps bad and even destructive habits so that they don't rub off on you, e.g smoking, excessive drinking, drugs (non-prescription of the 'igbo' (marijuana) variety), etc.  Bad communication corrupts good manners, like they say. But how would you 'avoid' that person if he or she was a member of your own family? Complicated, huh? I thought so too.

Returning to Nigeria (Part 2): Student Loan Palaver | Featured Artiste: C.M.J

Happy New Month y'all! So, how many of you got pranked on April Fool's Day? (raising hand). See, now at least you know I am honest (polishes halo, uses it as a hoola hoop and then replaces it to its former position).  You berra quit forming there like say you didn't fall for the prank.  Yes, you can be "had" at any age! LOL!

I hope April has been treating you well so far.  Apart from these allergies, I'm fine! (Not literally ... you can't even verify sef ... For all you know, I am typing this with all 10 of my TOES! Ha ha ... Okay, I'll get serious now)
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I had started this discussion on Returning to Nigeria last year, and I decided that it was time to pick up from where I left off.  Today sha, I wanted to focus on something I believe Nigerian students in the diaspora can relate to, i.e. Student loans.

Unless your parents are mega "boxed-up" or you have some kind of trust fund (Wait, I thought those two were the exact same thing ... Never mind), or better still, you're just lucky (Got scholarships, grants, etc) you are paying for (or had to pay for) your university education with student loans.  At least in the United States, here are 3 interesting facts about student loans: