Thursday, 25 June 2020

R.A.P..E: Rabidly Attacking Personal Ease


I was recently approached again by a group of young girls to have an interactive session with them. As a mother and a woman, any opportunity to share and talk to the younger generation is obliged.  

This is my writeup I shared with them after which questions and answers were discussed. Kindly share and comment on what you think or can add to this... Enjoy


Hello Everyone! I hope you all are good? 
 Today, I want to discuss a societal issue that is not essentially seen as a ravaging problem- Rabidly Attacking Personal Ease  ( RAPE). An acronym that explains the feeling and experience we go through when sexually pressured, molested, or violated at any stage of our lives. This acronym represents an action that is an attack on our physical, social, emotional, mental, and total well-being and security.  I mean RAP.E. 
           
Rape is not a new topic or issue for us. It's been around for ages. However, it has been chosen as a central and contemporary discussion because its prevalence has assumed a muster epidemic.

Rape has never been taken seriously as it has predominantly been viewed as a problem between the involved parties. It's never been looked at as a societal crime, rather it is seen as a source of shame and ridicule, in which the victim often bears more blame than the assailant. This should not be so, as it is indeed, an unpleasant social malice that needs to be addressed and given more awareness. We need to begin re-educating and conditioning ourselves to reject the distorted ideas and reasons surrounding rape. The most common one being that people get raped because of their physical appearance, behaviors, or attitudes. And we must also cancel out the stigma surrounding rape and its victims. Here are some things we need to understand...

It's NEVER the victim's fault! NEVER EVER! Casting blames and judgment on the person shouldn't be done because not only are you aggravating their trauma, but you’re also saying something they did gave the assailant the incentive to forcefully have their way sexually without her/his consent. It's wrong! Totally and absolutely wrong!!

Having said this, we need to foster neutral and safe spaces, where women and girls (the most vulnerable) feel safe to express themselves on sexual issues. Most societies do not support such things. If a person or child is going through a form of abuse in his/ her home they have no safe place to go. There are multiple active platforms, helplines, and organizations noted at the end of this write-up, that handle these matters.

Regardless of the organizations out in place to help these victims, remember "charity begins at home". Parents, educate your children from an early age on the topics and issues surrounding sex. There’s nothing to shy away from or be embarrassed about. Your children are never too young to learn about being safe and protecting themselves. Make sure they know you’re approachable and always ready to listen. You should always be there for them.

Don’t educate just your girls. Yes, females are the most victimized, but we should not ignore that any sex could be a potential victim. Educate your sons too. If you teach the boys how to fight, teach the girls too! Don’t let any Sex feel more entitled than the other, in regards to how they present themselves and interact with people. When you tell the girls about sexual predators, tell the boys as well. Simply because any person (boy or girl) can be sexually harassed or assaulted by any of the other sexes. 

More importantly, you and your kids should learn the basics of self-defense ( karate and taekwondo), and have defense tools, such as a pocket knife, tasers or, pepper spray when out. 

The reason a lot of rape victims suffer in silence is because of society. A lot of  stigma surrounds the topic and so they suffer in silence due to the assumptions that :
1. They shouldn't be having sex (unmarried ones).
2. They can't deny sex to their spouses because their body belongs to the other (married ones). 
They remain silent because they already feel condemned and guilty. 

Sex has always been a controversial topic, especially in African countries. However, remember that only you are entitled to your body. You do not owe sex to anyone and no one has the power to claim your body. Regardless of whether you’re married or not, consent is paramount.

Whenever you have a social gathering, do not attend alone! Go in groups and watch out for each other. Don't leave your drinks unattended as that’s how you could get poisoned or drugged. It’s unfortunate that we have to bear all these precautions and rules to protect ourselves, but this is the world we live in. 

Note that if you were/ are a victim and don’t carry out any of these preventive actions that you are still not to blame. Victims are not raped and should not be blamed for feeling safe in their environments or thinking that society is safe and conducive. No one has foresight for such circumstances. People are raped because there are evil people out there.

Another key point is knowing your location and address. Be financially secured in case you need to leave by yourself. You can do this by saving a percent of your earnings. This is not only good for situations in which you need to escape from immediately, but also a good life habit.

You're spiritual? Be prayerful and God will direct your steps. Listen to your guts! It never fails!


 VICTIM
Rape can trigger and have many mental effects like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A common side effect of high-stress occurrences like rape. Prioritizing one’s mental health is very important. If you know a victim offer as much support as needed; this could go a long way in aiding the recovery process. 

Know it was never your fault.

Don't be pressured to talk about it until you are ready and comfortable.

Don't be or feel guilty.

 RAPIST
The person should be seen and treated the same way other criminals are handled. 

There's no excuse whatsoever to carry out such a dirty act.

Please let’s educate and raise awareness about this heinous act, as this is one of the few ways we can protect ourselves and also normalize this matter and its victims so that they are able to come forward to a non- prejudiced society, tell their stories, and heal. Nobody deserves to be raped or carry the burdens of it.

Rabidly Attacking Personal Ease shouldn't be tolerated or encouraged. Rather, Resist Any Pressure Essentially should be uppermost in our minds and day to day living.

Thank you and God bless!

Sexual assault foundation in Nigeria: 
THE MIRABEL CENTRE
Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos
08155770000
07013491769
08187243468

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Natural Hair Wash Day


Hello, everyone

You have probably heard my mum mention me in her previous post and for good reason. I have been natural for about two years now, haven transitioned mid-2018. What can I say, it has been a whirlwind of emotion. Tears, joy, anger, impatience, and more have highlighted my journey. It is safe to say I have finally reached a point of smooth- sailing with my hair.

My main focus is now growing and maintaining it, rather than transitioning. As for me, the beginning of my hair’s health begins with my wash days. 

And so, in today’s post, I will be sharing with you all the details of what a typical wash day looks like for me. I will be recommending alternative products and tips and tricks for all levels of natural hair, do not shy away from this post if your hair is not as full or long as mine.

This is what my hair looks like before I start my wash day:

                
     
       


 Firstly, I start off by splitting my hair into about four sections- you can do more or less depending on the volume and length of your hair. You do not have to do this if your hair is shorter and not as easily sectioned. Personally, I find that this makes the whole process easier and more manageable.

                                                   


Next, I like to finger detangle my hair before using any tools. Make sure your hair is almost drenched before you detangle. NEVER detangle dry hair. That would only inflict pain and damage to your hair.  Just gently run your fingers through your hair, patiently separating any knots and kinks.  I find that this helps reduce shedding for when you actually comb/ brush through it. 
The aim of wash days is to achieve as little damage and breakage as possible, as this is one of the factors that ensure the health of your hair.

                 

 
  
    When I finish detangling a whole section, I twist it into a few pieces just for convenience's sake. You do not necessarily have to do this, it just helps with organization and makes sure you don't detangle each piece more than once.  To hold shorter hair, I recommend using duck clips or mini hair bands as they provide a lot of grip, which is needed to hold shorter hair.
Gray Small 2mm Mini Hair Ties at Cyndibands.com

Prongs, Butterflies, and Duckbills: How to Use Hair Clips the ...

I basically repeat this process until I'm done with all the sections. Notice how I use the infamous flexible detangling brush. When I combed from the tips of my hair to the shafts- as you should- it was a very stress-free process with little to no resistance. I 100% recommend it. However, if you don't have or can't get this brush, I also recommend the staple wide tooth combs. 
   Amazon.com : Large Tooth Detangle Comb Shampoo Wide Teeth Comb ...


Normally, I wash my hair in these twists. I find it is easier this way and I noticed it reduced the number of tangles I had. For shampoos and conditioners, I recommend sulfate-free products with essential oils like argan oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, black castor oil, etc. You want a shampoo that does not strip your hair of its moisture, but rather moisturizes while also getting your scalp clean. You should shampoo your hair once or twice depending on how dirty it is. As for conditioners, you want a product that provides you with a lot of slip- a lot of lubrication- as this helps to detangle easier.  Some brands that sell sulfate-free products are:

  • Cantu
  • Creme of Nature
  •  Sheamoisture 
  • OGX products
  • Mielle


After shampooing and conditioning, it's time to deep condition. Not to worry, if you do not have a deep conditioner, a good hack is to just use your normal conditioner.  The brands mentioned beforehand also sell good deep conditioners. This would require you to not rinse it out of your hair after shampooing, and follow through with the following steps. After applying your choice of conditioner/ deep conditioner, throw on a plastic cap. Heat is essential for deep conditioning as it opens your follicles and ensures maximum absorption, which is key. Personally, I use a heating cap to provide heat and wear mine for an hour or more, sometimes even sleeping with it. If you do not have or can not access a heating cap, you could simply tightly wrap another layer around your plastic cap, like maybe a bonnet and/ or scarf. You could also wet a medium-sized towel and microwave it for about a minute, then wrap it around your plastic cap.

                                                      click me to purchase this steam cap.

When you are done deep conditioning, thoroughly rinse the product out of your hair, shake or pat your hair dry, then moisturize. If you would like to know what I do to keep my hair soft and maximally moisturized after my hair day, make sure you voice your thoughts in the comment section. 

Also, drop any questions or topics that you would like to see on this blog. If you made it all the way to the end, thank you for reading this far!

~ Ama-rachi





Saturday, 6 June 2020

Natural Hair: Our Journey

Welcome back to my blog!

I hope you are all keeping safe? It's been a long and tiring period for everyone, but know it will all soon pass. Keep hanging in there! In the meantime, I am going to be giving you all an insight into my natural hair journey. So, sit back, grab a mug of tea, a cup of water, or maybe even a glass of wine, and enjoy this segment. 


I never in my life imagined I would be writing about, talk less of, having natural hair! It never crossed my mind once. If I am being totally honest,  my natural hair journey began by accident. Yes… by accident.


It all started when my eldest daughter kicked off her journey sometime in 2015. Without giving anyone any sort of notice, she chopped off her long, thick, and luscious relaxed hair. To say I was shocked is an understatement because I was mortified. I could not wrap my head around any explanation or words of reason she gave to justify her big chop. This was my first encounter with this aspect of hair care.


2016 rolled by and I began having issues with my relaxed hair. It was constantly breaking, I was suffering from hair loss, and no treatment seemed to revive it. It was a really tough year for me, considering I had very long beautiful hair- If I do say so myself. I saw my hair lose all its luster and strength. I went to my hairstylist and he suggested a cut so that new growth would help revive it. And with that, I saw myself begin on the path of natural hair.


As the youth would say: “I did not know ‘jack’ about it”, and so, I had to reach out to my daughter for help. I saw she was very happy and confident rocking her natural hair and this motivated me. And of course, the compliments she received acted as a great morale booster as well! Taking on this journey made me think a lot about one of the principles I instilled in my children, while they were growing up; Be comfortable in your being regardless of what other people think. At that moment,  I felt proud to have a daughter who felt no shame nor needed validation about her God-given virgin hair. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who struggle with accepting the coiliness, kinkiness, and coarseness that is black hair. So that warmed my heart and made me embrace it!


When my second daughter saw how I and her elder sister were enjoying and flaunting our journeys, she was equally entranced, and soon joined us. She too is currently enjoying the experience and has even surpassed us in length and volume- the girl’s hair is something else!


This journey has taught me a lot of things and grounded me in some virtues- patience especially. Do not forget that like some of you, I am still learning and still have questions. But, not to worry all my naturals or naturals- to- be, as long as you stay tuned and updated, you will always have tips and resources on how to keep your crowns healthy and gorgeous. I am ready to answer all and any of your questions concerning hair. This is one of the reasons my girls and I will be sharing our hair journies with you. Even my baby girl too who is currently transitioning.


Please let me know what specifics or topics you would like us to share and talk about. Feel free to input your questions below. We will work it out together. Cheers to this journey and experience!







Your Hair is Your Crown

Hello, Lovelies      How are you doing?      Today, I  will be talking about our crowns. Yes, our crowns. As naturalistas, it's kind of ...