Thursday, 28 December 2017

THANK YOU

Sisi Alero is saying a big thank you to everyone who featured on www.isparklenow.com in the year 2017.

It was not easy and it has been difficult getting our African families to come out to tell their stories on how they live with one disability or another.

For the amazing ones who shared their lives and stories with us; and also those who inspired us with their hard work and achievements, i say a big THANK YOU.

Sisi Alero loves you all so much.

Looking forward to a New Year filled with so many dreams and visions.

It is going to be an awesome 2018.



Be thankful for life and keep your hopes up.

Keep Sparkling.

WELCOME TO 2018 PEOPLE

As we begin a new year, Don't reflect on the things you still have not achieved, but rather focus on achieving your dreams and goals.

It does not matter if others you know have gone past you or if you have failed a few times.
As Dr Edwin Land said- 'An essential part of creativity is, not being afraid to fail'
Failure does not mean it's the end. Keep pushing, don't give up.

Let us go into the New Year with hopes, dreams, great visions. Believing in ourselves and what we intend to achieve.

I have had a few people mock me and try to make me feel bad in regards to my blog. Rather than feel bad, i cut myself off from them.

Take note: You do not need any negative person/s around you. You do not need anyone who puts you down. Rather, move with those who encourage and inspire you. People who have your best interest at heart. Positive minded people.

2018 will certainly come with loads of transformations for me. I am already celebrating.





Join me, let's make this New Year the best one ever.

Stay Sparkling.




Saturday, 23 December 2017

SEASONS GREETINGS





As the year comes to an end and we prepare to celebrate Christmas in 2days, let us remember to show love to all around us.

Do something you have never done for someone this Christmas. It could be for one child, one man, one woman or a family.


Sisi Alero is wishing you a very Merry Christmas and an Amazing New Year in Advance.

Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

                                                Stay Sparkling.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

HAPPINESS.

How can one define happiness?

Happiness can be said to be a state of high spirits, jubilation, a place of contentment.

My friend Elizabeth asked me to write on happiness a while ago, i started to write but couldn't think of what to say because of how i felt mentally and emotionally at that point. I just couldn't reach my happy place.But today i feel i can say i feel good enough to write on it.

What really defines happiness? For some, it's being married, having kids, having loads of money, being popular.

As human beings, we tend to strive to achieve goals, desires, our dreams. A happy life is seen as one that's meaningful. A life filled with something to show who we think or feel we are. Almost like a competition with those around us.

But, do these material things define happiness? Will having lots of money bring true happiness?

Growing up, i pictured myself having an awesome job with fantastic pay, a gorgeous family with my twin boys. Living "the life". Years and years later, I am nowhere near those dreams. But today, i have come to realise that all of those dreams would not guarantee my happiness but rather, are things i achieve on my road to happiness.

Now, i have come to understand that the most important thing in my life right now is my health (now that is a story for another day).
I am learning to love me for me and take things easy. Take life a day at a time.

Today, if i am asked to define happiness. I would say happiness is me being at peace with myself.

Whatever decisions i make, i make for me and not just to please people around me.

If you want to find true happiness, put yourself first. Be at peace in your heart in all you do.

Do not try to please people around you and end up displeasing yourself.


As the year rolls to an end, do all you can to be at peace with yourself.

Relax, take life easy. forgive those who have hurt you. Smile.

Most importantly, stay Sparkling no matter what.





Tuesday, 5 December 2017

KEEP PUSHING

There are days we all just want to give up,  let go.
We get so frustrated and cannot seem to understand why things are not working as planned.
Why we just cannot have a normal life like the next person.

We feel lost, all alone. You say to yourself, there is nobody who truly cares or understands.
One thing is certain,  everyone is going through one trial or another.

Some may have more burden than others, but no one is free from trials/problems.
How we handle it when we go through such trials is what makes us who we are and who we become.
For those who know me, they know I have a PhD in worrying.  I worry about simple things, I worry about difficult things.

So far, I haven't been able to solve anything from my worrying.
Now, I'm learning to relax, it's hard though I must say. Especially because I like to plan things ahead and want things to be in a certain kind of way. When I don't have it that way, it becomes really frustrating.

So, as the year draws closer to an end, let us take the time to slow down; relax.  Be thankful for the little things as well as the big things we have been able to achieve.
Do not complain or get angry that you did not achieve your goals or desires. Remember,  some who begun the race in January did not make it this far. 
Some who made it,  are stuck in hospital beds or have been told they have a short time to live.

You, my dear friend; you're still alive and well.  Which means you still have the time, energy and opportunity to pursue your dreams, desires and aspirations.

Be thankful to God for all He has done and trust that He will see you through to attain all of your dreams and visions.

Whatever you have not achieved, look ahead.  2018 will surely bring you good tidings.

Keep rejoicing, keep pushing and stay Sparkling.




Friday, 1 December 2017

AFTER THE STORM

 I  am a woman with a story and would like to share my story here to inspire someone.

God called me into ministry on the 21st of November, 2002, and He told me to break the yoke of marital delay that keeps women single against their desire and prepare them spiritually, emotionally, mentally, financially, physically and socially for a glorious marriage. This is not an assignment for a divorced person. I could not afford to make a mistake of marrying outside of the perfect will of God, but I did and after going through emotional, verbal and physical abuse, my marriage was suddenly over. And I knew what that meant; I would no longer be able to continue with the assignment that God had placed in my hand. I had failed. I could no longer speak in churches or at women or youth conferences as I had done prior to getting married. As a matter of fact, many people in the church saw me as unsaved, and it was evident in the way that they spoke to me, and it still happens till this moment, but I have learnt to live with it. I do not seek validation from anyone but God.

My assignment from God was very important to me, and so I was ready to endure an abusive marriage so I could carry out that task. But when he sued for divorce, so he could be with his lover, my entire world crashed. Not because I loved him and couldn’t live without him but because I had messed up my marriage and with it my ministry. On the day I received the notice from the court, I asked God for direction, and He instructed me to pack my things and return to my late father’s house. I obeyed because I knew it was all over. It was the end of the road not just for marriage but also for ministry. Back at my dad’s house, another instruction came for me to go to Bible school and again I obeyed. While I was at Bible school studying towards an Associate Degree in Theology and Deliverance, I realized that God might not be through with me, but I really didn’t see how I was going to carry on with the ministry.


With a year left to finish my course, I began to write the story of my failed marriage. This was to heal the pain I felt on the inside, but when the story was finished, I had two options before me. I could hand it over to an established magazine, or I could begin a magazine of my own. I chose the latter, and that led to the birth of DOZ (Daughters of Zion) Magazine. For close to a year DOZ Magazine made an impact, but I shut down the operations at the end of 2009 because of numerous challenges at the time which overwhelmed me. I thought DOZ was over, but when people continued to ask for it year after year, I began to think that perhaps I should pick it up again. But when God specifically spoke to me about it, I obeyed, and the DOZ True Story Magazine has returned as a novel series named DOZ Chronicles with four titles currently published and sold on Amazon. And in September 2016, DOZ Regular Magazine returned as a digital magazine.


Today I understand that DOZ is my ministry. Looking back now I can see exactly what God did and how He gave me victory. When my marriage failed I thought my ministry was over, I could no longer hold a Bible study and prayer meetings as I had done in the past, I could no longer speak in churches, but God gave me another medium for the messages that He put inside of me and DOZ Magazine was that medium. And with DOZ Magazine I was able to reach a wider audience. So rather than destroy my ministry, my divorce actually birth my ministry. That is the victory and God alone made it possible. My ministry has grown; as a matter of fact, not only has the ministry grown but the initial vision has also broadened. I am not only called to work with single women preparing for marriage but to work with single and married women to help them walk in their God-given purpose and marriage is just a small part of that. Following my divorce, I began with DOZ Magazine and moved to DOZ Chronicles, DOZ Devotional, DOZ Network (the fellowship arm) and now DOZ (talk) Show. Through my writing I have been able to touch lives in places I may never visit in my lifetime. I have also become a better version of myself. I have moved from a mindset of it is over to a mindset of it is just beginning and it is amazing how that mindset has affected everything I do.


The reason I have shared my story is this; you do not have to remain in an abusive relationship. I was willing to remain, but God caused the man to send me away, PRAISE THE LORD! I probably would be dead today. I remained because I thought ministry would be over with my marriage. And perhaps you think you need to remain because of the children or whatever reason you may have, but if you trust God, you will discover that He specializes in taking your pain and working it for your gain. He takes your messes and makes powerful messages out of them.
My closing remarks to anyone reading this who is in an abusive relationship is this; ask yourself a very important question, is this love or is this lust? Are you unsure? Let’s look at a story, quickly shall we? In Genesis 34:1-4, the Bible says, “And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.”


Anyone reading the story above will conclude that the man in question loved Dinah. But did he really? Carefully consider the words used to describe their first meeting; saw, took, lay, defiled. He literally raped her! Do you call that love? Does this connote love? Consider also the words of Dinah’s brothers, in verse 31 of the same chapter. They said, “Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?” In the eyes of Dinah’s family and those who were closest to her, he had treated her like a harlot. How is a harlot treated? A harlot is used for sex. She exists only to provide sexual pleasure. Now think again of the words; saw, took, lay, defiled. Do you now think that the young man used Dinah for sex? I, certainly do.


The reason I am bringing this up is that too many times, women confuse lust for love. And for this reason, they remain in abusive relationships, believing that the man loves them. One major difference between love and lust is that love gives, and lust takes. God loved the world, and He gave (John 3:16 paraphrased). A man who loves you seeks to add to you. He seeks to make your life better. He seeks to make you an honourable woman and not a laughing stock amongst family and friends. A man who is lusting after you seeks to take. When he looks at you, all he thinks of is what to take from you. Your money, your body, and yes even your time. You are an object to be used so he will have no problem sleeping with you one minute and hitting you the next. Be wise. Discern.

If he is physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive, he does not love you. When a man says he loves us, we are quick to believe him, especially when we are love hungry. But the truth is, if we would sit back and block out his words and observe his actions, we may see the same words- "saw, took, lay, defiled", being acted out. And if these are the words we see then it is not loved but lust.
Ladies, no man will love you more than you love yourself. And if you do not love yourself enough to exit the abusive relationship, do not expect the abuser to love you enough to stop the abuse.


             My name is Eturuvie Erebor, i  Sparkle through Jesus Christ.                                              
   Read and subscribe to Doz magazine by going to www.dozmagazine.com

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

HELLO EVERYONE

Hello everyone,

I am sure you have read my short stories and wondering what's next.

I had been reading a lot of stories online on abuse, domestic violence and rape. The comments that followed such stories were horrid.

Nobody in their right senses wants to be raped or would plan to be in a situation where they would be raped or abused.

No one wants to be beaten up in the name of love.

Causing a person to go through emotional, psychological, physical or mental abuse is evil. would you do that to your own child? Your sibling? So, why do it to someone else's?

I will be having a guest who will be discussing on domestic violence this week, so stay tuned.

If you have a story to tell, or have a child/children with special needs and want to tell the world how special they are, do send an email to "admin@isparklenow.com"

Until our next post, Stay Sparkling.

Monday, 13 November 2017

HIDDEN SCARS III

STORY THREE:

Staring out the window, Ada watches as people rush to work. She looks at the clock, its 07.20am.
She becomes lost in thought. The cry of a baby brings her back to reality.

Destiny is awake. She sighs and remains were she is for a few minutes. His cry becomes louder;
she rolls her wheelchair to his cot. She carries him as he stretches towards her. He smiles at her.

She gives him a bath and feeds him. He wants to play but she feels tired and tries to get him to nap for a while.
Ada rocks him and sings to him. She looks at him, he is finally asleep. She puts him down in his cot.
She feels happy she is finally able to carry him and love him for who he is. It hasn't always been this simple to show him love.

The bell rings and she goes to see who it is as she was expecting Jude at 9am, she looks at the time and realises it was almost 9am. She opens the door and he walks in smiling.

Good morning Ada, how are you and Destiny doing today? He asks.
We are fine she says. I have just put him in his cot, he is sleeping.

He sits down and looks directly at her. She is uncomfortable. What would you like to drink? Tea, coffee? Nothing, he replies. I just want to know what you have decided. I have asked you for the second time to marry me and you asked me to come this morning for your reply. I really do not know what to expect so I made sure I kept my morning free and won't be resuming at the office until midday he says to her.

She moves to the window and stares out for a few seconds, then turns to face him.
Jude, you have known me for almost a year and you have known me at church. In as much as you know a lot of things about me, you really do not know me enough to ask me to be your wife.
I appreciate that you love and care for my baby like he was yours and you have never questioned me about his father.

The main reason i have asked you here today is so i can share my story with you. if after i finish you still want to marry me, then I will marry you.


About seven years ago, I was an undergraduate in my first year. I was very young and naïve. I had been a good Christian girl and barely knew much about men or sex. All I knew was I was now in School and was looking forward to a bright future.

During registration, I met a guy named Osahon. He helped me with everything and made my registration easy. He was in his third year studying engineering.
Osahon became my bodyguard and before I knew it, we started dating.

By the second semester, he asked me to move in with him. At first, I told him it was wrong and would feel embarrassed living with him. But he convinced me that since we were officially dating and he planned to marry me, there was nothing wrong.
I thought about it and agreed as I knew my parents would never come to visit. I moved in with him and after a few weeks started noticing changes in his behaviour. He didn't want me going to visit friends and he had a copy of my timetable. He knew my every move. He turned up anywhere I went.

One Friday, I decided to go for fellowship before going home. It was a two-hour meeting. When I got home, Osahon was waiting for me. I locked the door and was about to explain to him where I was coming from, but before I could utter a word, I received a slap. Before I could recover from that, I got a punch on my head, then a blow in my tummy. Osahon beat me blue-black all the while cursing and swearing.

He left me and went to the door, took the keys and went into the bedroom. I cried for hours. I could not believe a man I felt loved me could beat me up. I eventually curled up on the sofa and went to sleep as I was not ready to be anywhere near him.

The following morning, I woke up to him staring at me. As soon as he saw I was awake he began to plead with me.He blamed everything on earth except himself for turning me into a punching bag.

I told him i needed to go home, i needed him to open the door. "But you are home my love" he replied. i need to leave, i need time alone.
He stood up and stared at me with anger. You are going nowhere Ada, you belong to me.
The tone of his voice made me shiver. Who is this man speaking to me? what has he done with my Osahon? I was so much in love that I did not argue or fight. i decided i would obey him and show him i was humble.

Ada laughs. Humble, how stupid and naïve i was. Alas, that was the beginning of my woes.
When someone offended him, i was his remedy to calm down. Osahon beat me almost every day and for any flimsy excuse.

I sometimes went back home with bruises and one time with a broken arm. i would always give my parents excuses.
My close friend knew what was going on and tried to get me to move out. i love him i said. he will change. i am praying for him. I know God will change him.

He never changed. The beatings got worse and I was the talk of my department, as i always had one injury or another. I could no longer blame it on a bike accident or that i tripped, or walked into a wardrobe. Everyone knew my story and kind of had pity for me. Some looked at me with disgust and now i look back, i really don't blame them.

Eventually, he graduated and left with a promise of coming to ask for my hand in marriage.
I had decided I would not argue but act like it was fine and what I wanted too. As soon as he had left campus, I was so happy and thankful to God for my freedom.

I was now in my final year and by the time I was graduating, he was at youth service in Adamawa State.

I decided to tell my parents everything and they went from anger to disappointment. After a few weeks, they called me and had a good talk with me. They too were sorry they had not had such talk with me before I left for school.

Osahon was barred from entering our home. The driver took me out and back. I wasn't left on my own out of fear of him coming around.

I went for service and luckily got posted to Lagos, which is where I live. I did my three weeks orientation at Iyana Ipaja and there I met Ndidi. Ndidi was an amazing guy. I realised after a year plus with him that what I had for Osahon was anything but love.

Ndidi showered me with love. He was so caring and was a man with the fear of God. He taught me what it meant to court, no sex before marriage. Brought me close to God and I became a true follower of Christ.

Ndidi proposed and I accepted 2years after we met. Our parents were ecstatic and could not wait for us to say "I DO".

Just as I was rejoicing and we were all making plans for the wedding, the devil struck. Osahon turned up at my parent's house. He said he had just finally returned to Lagos. He apparently had an issue while at Adamawa State and had been arrested. He had only got released a few days ago only to return to the news of my wedding.
Osahon said he would never let any man marry me. He said he was a changed man and would never lay a finger on me. he expressed his undying love, but all I wanted was for him to leave.

I am getting married Osahon, I said to him. Please don't make this difficult. Our past is what it is; our past.

As I said those words, he got angry and did what he knew how to do best, pound me. The security man came and tried to help me. That's when I noticed he had a gun. He asked him to go away if he didn't want to die. Immediately, the old man ran for his life. As I struggled to get on my feet, Osahon fell, I looked up and there stood Ndidi. What in Gods name is going on here? Who are you? He asks as he tried to get me up?  Its Osahon, my ex I told you about, I said to him.

In a twinkle of an eye, Osahon brought out his gun and shot Ndidi. I screamed, help! help! somebody, please help us.

Osahon dragged me into the house, my parents thankfully were not home. He threw me on the floor and continued his madness. He then went further to pull my skirt up and forced his fingers inside me.

So you dared to go marry another man? Over my dead body! That will never happen he shouted.
He unbuckled his trousers and zipped down whilst holding me to the floor. I tried to escape and was able to wriggle free of him for a few seconds.
He shouted for me to stop but I just wanted to run and get out of there. Next thing I heard was a loud bang and saw myself falling. Osahon shot me in the back.
I fell and he came to me. Why would you run from me? See what you've made me do he screamed.
I was beginning to feel numb. Please, Osahon I whispered, get help. He laughed and then did the last thing I would have ever imagined.

He raped me. The man I thought I once loved and who loved me with all his heart raped me.

I broke down in tears. Even though time has passed everything still felt real and like it happened only yesterday. 


Jude got up and came to hold my hand. I think I would like a glass of ice water now please he said.
I walk to the kitchen and returned with a bottle of water and a glass.

Thank you, he says. Please finish your story.

Well, I said. The next thing I know is waking up at the hospital. I was told I had been unconscious for a couple of days.
Luckily, The security guard had gone for help. The police came and Osahon was arrested.

And Ndidi? Asked Jude. Hmmm, Ndidi did not make it. He died.

I was in the hospital for over six months and during this time I was informed I had lost the use of my legs due to the gunshot injury to my spine.

On top of that, a few months later, I realised I was pregnant. I was over four months before I knew. It was too late to do anything. This was my worst nightmare and because of my condition on the wheelchair, I was placed at high risk and literally lived at the hospital.

I thank God for my parents. The spent almost all their savings on me. I was eventually taken abroad for better treatment and also to have the baby.
We had concluded I would give the baby up for adoption as there was no way I was going to keep it. A seed of an evil man. I hated the child even before he fully formed inside me and could not wait to get rid of it.

While in California, some ministers came to the hospital and prayed for people. One paid so much attention to me and always prayed for my healing. One day I said to her, I can never walk. Why do you keep praying for my healing? She said to me, the Holy Spirit asked me to pray for the healing of your heart, not your injury. But if you have faith and believe, you will walk again.

Those words shook me. I had stopped praying or listening to anything related to God since the incidence and to know that He was sending someone to me got me alert.

Slowly, I started to come out of the darkness I had left myself in due to the events. I decided to have a serious talk with God. I shouted and I cried and after everything, I went to sleep. For the first time in a long time, I slept like a baby. I was seen by a physiotherapist and he worked on my legs rigorously.
I began to read my bible again and pray. I started to ask God for all-around healing.
Just before I had my baby, I was able to walk a few steps with crutches and assistance.

I delivered my baby and named him Destiny. It took time but I learnt to love him and separate him from the man who would have been his father. I decided not to give him up for adoption. 

It has not been an easy journey. Now he is 10 months old. I can stand to do things and walk a little distance. I am still in the healing process and pray that one day soon, I will get to walk as I used to.
I do like you very much and i know you will make me happy. I know with time i could learn to love you. But i am still healing and i don't want to rush into making any decisions. Especially when it has to do with marriage.

You met me when he was a few weeks old and you have been great to both of us. I had shut my heart to marriage and love. I never thought anyone would look at me a second time. Me, in a wheelchair.

Jude walks up to her. From the first day I laid eyes on you, I knew you were the one. But I also knew I had to be patient. I have been praying and I knew it was time.

I have listened to your story and yes, it is shocking and worse than I had imagined. You are a strong woman and God has kept you for a purpose.

I am still ready to make you my wife if you will have me. I promise to make up for all the times you were hurt and to put a smile permanently on your face. But i understand how you feel and i will wait patiently for you. You don't have to say yes now. Whenever you are ready, know i am here waiting.

He smiles at her and adds; don't wait too long though. She laughs.

One more thing, If we do get married, Destiny will answer my name. I already see him as my son. He will have nothing to do with that beast. So, what do you say?

I smile shyly, thank you for understanding Jude. We hold hands and watch Destiny sleeping in his cot.







Saturday, 11 November 2017

HIDDEN SCARS II

STORY TWO

Watching her parents wave goodbye as the car drives off, Omasan knew it would be best to find a place to hide.
She runs to her bedroom and shuts the door. Sadly, the door had no key or lock.
Hiding inside the wardrobe, she tries to stay as quiet as she could, she is breathing very hard.
After what felt like an eternity, she hears her room door being opened. A tiny sound escapes from her lips. She knows she has given herself away and covers herself with her clothes folded in the wardrobe.
She hears the wardrobe door open. Silent tears run down her cheeks. He pulls her out and walks her to the bed.
Uncle loves you very much. Why do you keep running away from me? I'll get you the toy your mummy said she couldn't get you.
Uncle, please stop. It hurts too much. I don't want to play with you anymore she cries.
But he is not listening. He does what he always does when she is kept in his care. He rapes her.
Omasan is seven(7) years old and has been going through abuse from her uncle for months.
She had tried telling her mum, but her mum beat her instead for telling lies and told her she would no longer be getting her the toy she promised her until she learnt to stop lying.
Omasan has had to endure being raped regularly by her uncle. She was always in pain.
She had no one to tell or talk to. Her dad was rarely around and besides, she thought. If my mum does not believe me, who else would.
Omasan went through this evil from her wicked uncle until the age of 9 when he moved out.
The only reason he moved out was because her mum saw him grabbing her breasts in the kitchen and saying to her she was growing up fast. 
After he mum saw this, she never spoke of it or acted like anything happened, rather she carried on like it never happened.
Omasan was happy and relieved to be free of him. But she did not get to enjoy it for too long.
Her mum got a relative to come stay with them as she was always at work and her dad always travelling due to his business, they needed someone to be home with her.
This time, it was an aunt who she had never met before. Well, Omasan thought, she's a woman. I'm safe.
A few months went by and she got to really like aunty Wina. Aunty Wina helped her with school work, assisted her in anything she needed and she was like her best friend.
Even her mum saw the change in her. She was more confident and more outspoken. She was doing better in her school work too.
Aunty Wina had been living with them for almost a year now. She was a star in the eyes of Omasan.
So, when one night they were home alone and her parents had travelled. She did see anything wrong when aunty Wina asked her to come sleep in her room.
Later that night Omasan woke up to the feeling of something in between her legs. Right were her uncle always touched. She went cold. Am i dreaming? is he here?
It took a few seconds to realise it was aunty Winas hand. What are you doing aunty she screamed as she tried to pull away.
Aunty Wina did not say anything. She grabbed my head and asked me to suck her breast. 
No aunty, please stop. Why are you doing this. Do it or I'll strangle you she says to me.
The things she did to me and what she made me do, i cannot speak of.
It has been over a year now and she still abuses me when she wants.
Now, i feel like dying. I don't want to live anymore. I hate myself. I hate my body and i hate my parents. Why did they have me if they do not love me.
How can they not see what i am going through? How?
If tomorrow, you hear that a young girl named Omasan killed herself. You'll know why.

Monday, 23 October 2017

HIDDEN SCARS.

STORY ONE:

"She walks into the bedroom looking for her friend. There's nobody in the room. As she turns to leave, he walks in and locks the door.

What do you think you're doing? She asks. He pays no attention and walks towards her.
She walks backwards till there's nowhere to go. He grabs her and throws her on the bed.
I want you he says. I love you so much its driving me crazy. I can't get you out of my head.

She pleads with him, tears running down her face. Don't do this. Please, i beg you.
She hears the slit of her gown rip as he pulls at it.

I am on my period she pleaded again. please, i am on my period. She continues to cry out on the top of her voice. He appears lost and does not stop. Even the blood does not stop him.

Open this door, ''bro please open the door", screams his sister. She is banging and screaming at the same time.

This time, he stops and after a few seconds begins to weep and pull away. But it's too late. The deed has been done. He tells her he is very sorry.

He gets up and starts to leave. Just as he unlocks the door, he says to her; it's because i love you, you know.

He brushes past his sister whilst she runs to her friend who is weeping profusely on the bed. They hold on to each other as they cry.

I am so sorry for what my brother has done. Please forgive him, i beg you she says to her friend.

She gets up and tries to make herself look as decent as she can.
She feels cold and drained. 
Without saying a word to her friend, she walks out and heads home.

Getting home, she could not understand why he had done it. If he says he loves me; why would he try to rape me she thought. He is my friend's brother. he has asked me out a few times and i have politely told him i was not interested. i have only just turned 19 and he is a few years older.
What he feels cannot be love but lustful desires.

She never reported it and never spoke of it every again. She told herself it never happened.
She was never able to stay friends with his sister after that day.

A few years later, she heard he had gone to jail for raping a young lady. She was shocked and then felt extremely guilty and angry at the same time.

She should have reported him years ago. Maybe this would not have happened. But the thought of anyone knowing felt so shameful. Who would believe she did not instigate it? Most importantly, who would have believed her?

No, she thought. It was best i never said anything.

Even though she feels justice has been served to him, she still lives with her secret. Her hidden scars"


The above story is what some girls,ladies, women are going through it have gone through.

Do not hide from the truth. Seek help. If you cannot confide in your mother, go to a doctor or a counsellor.

Go for check up as well. You never know what infections could be passed on.

I"ve heard a few stories going around and I wonder what would posses any one to think raping a lady is a sign of love..

Please women, do not share such burden alone.

Do not allow any boy or man steal your sparkle.

#SpeakupSpeakout.





Tuesday, 17 October 2017

BEING SINGLE IS NOT A DISEASE.

Watching an elderly couple walking down the high street holding hands, chatting and having a laugh put a smile on my face.
I have always admired couples who have close bonds. Growing up I never truly wanted to get married.


I had seen so many married people who were sad, men and women who were simply coping in their marriages just to please people around them,( yes there still are people in such marriages even now ) and in the end, displease themselves and go through a very sad time.


Then recently, I saw a write up by a senior of mine from secondary school, a blogger and an investment guru, Subomi Plumtre.  She wrote about an amazing couple.


This couple happens to be one I grew up to know and admire; my very own pastor -Rev and Mrs. Bosun Ayinde. Just before I came to England, he gave me counseling on marriage and trust me, it has stuck with me ever since.


I recall at some point in life, when I started seeing marriage In a different light, my friends and I in church said if it wasn't Rev Ayinde who handled our wedding then no one else will.
That was how much we admired him and how much he influenced my thoughts towards marriage.


Reading their story again recently brought out a feeling inside of me I had not felt in a long time.
I had almost gotten so used to being independent that deep down I really didn't mind being single.


Do I really want to remain single?  The answer is no. 
Do I admire people who are married and have kids?  Oh yes, I do.
I have received so many lectures from people on why I should get married and also stop being 'picky''.

If you are a single woman out there. Listen to me.......

Do not for any reason feel desperate to settle down with just anyone. Yes, it can be lonely some days. But it's not a permanent situation. If you do want to get married, it will happen. Being single is not a disease. Do not allow people make you think you have an ailment or condition that needs a vaccination or treatment to cure you; which is for you to get married.


On no account should you let people convince you to settle down with who you don't even care about just because you are getting older.
You have to learn to love yourself for who you are. While you wait for your better half to turn up, build yourself, invest in yourself.

Have a plan for yourself. A focus and a target so when the man turns up, he will join you on your journey.
Do not put your life on hold in the name of "I'm miserable and all alone", "nobody loves me".
If you do not learn to love yourself you will not be able to receive that love from anyone. 
Be happy. Surround yourself with family and friends that love you; exude positivity.


 I was recently asked how I felt about marriage. Because now I know better, I replied "marriage is what I make of it. I see now I can get married and have a happy home. My home does not have to be like the sad ones I saw when I was younger"


So if you are feeling weighed down. Feeling you have gotten too old and maybe you should just have kids and be done with it. Listen, it's never too late. There is time for everything [Ecclesiastics 3: 1-8]
So while you wait, look good, dress nice, give yourself treats, keep that smile on your face. Go on holiday, do something new. Enjoy being single while you can because when you settle down you will not have the same freedom you have now.

Do NOT frustrate yourself,  do not give yourself any unnecessary high blood pressure or a migraine. As far as I know, nothing so far has been solved from worrying and thinking.
Trust me, I know (I have a Ph.D. in worrying and thinking).


If you have anything to add, share or comment on, Kindly do so on the comment section.
I am single and I sure do Sparkle.
Do you?

Saturday, 7 October 2017

ALL ABOUT AMANDA .

On Tuesday, we looked at a condition known as Hydrocephalus which is also known as "water on the brain" Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid inside the skull, which can increase pressure and cause damage to the brain. This story has made me really emotional. 

Meet a mother who has a blessed daughter with hydrocephalus and how she is coping and trying her best to sparkle through it.

This is her story:

My name is Nathalie Tamasha. I am originally from The Republic of Congo, but grew up in Uganda.

In 2014, I went for a gross anatomy test to know the sex of my baby ,I had prayed the night before for it to be a girl. But I was uneasy through the night and was scared but didn't understand why.

During the scan, they found out that my baby had some complications. The doctor informed me my baby had "water on the brain" and that it was a girl.

I could not understand nor comprehend what he was saying. I was just 22 years old at the time and I had never heard of such a condition so, I tried to understand better by asking what could have caused it. He said it could occur if I fell, was hit or been in a fight or it could be genes.

On hearing this, I became very angry, sad and confused all at the same time.
Firstly, when I found out I was pregnant ,I was living with my mum in Uganda. If you grew up with an African parent or in Africa, you will understand my dilemma

When I told my boyfriend then (father of my daughter) the result, he let me realise that it was in his family.
We were advised to abort the baby but we decided we needed to give her a chance to live.

When she was born, we named her Amanda and she looked normal like any other baby . I was so excited and was glad I had kept her. She had full hair and was adorable. I almost believed they had made a mistake about her condition.


At 3months, we noticed her head began to expand. She would cry day and night and this affected me. We both weren't sleeping. I ended up having problems with my nerves.



We decided to relocate to Sweden September last year so we could have better care for her as I was also not getting any support from my mum whatsoever. She would ask me to hide my baby. She called her "that thing" and didn't see her as a child.
Amanda has eating /swallowing problems and if not careful, sometimes food go into her lungs and she has to be rushed to the hospital. She is unable to speak and cannot see. She is unable to do anything herself. But she is my daughter. My child. I cannot imagine losing her.

Amanda in hospital

She was operated on at 8months but, the crying never stopped. The condition affected her growth.
According to the scan results, her brain is 3% compared to a normal person . The rest is fluid.




We were told she wouldn't live for more than three months but God had not said the final word regarding her. She is now three(3) years old.

It has not been easy as her dad hasn't been able to get his visa to come over . I have had to grow up real quick and become strong for my princess.

I know people feel I should have had an abortion but I love my daughter and I will keep caring for her and making her enjoy all she can while she is still here with me. I would love her to be an H & M model if that's possible. Everything she wears is H & M.


Amanda in a sensory room.

My advise to people is that they find out medical history about their to be partners so they know what they are getting themselves into. Also, Africans should change their attitude towards children with special needs /disabilities. They are unique and loving children just like any other child.
Show them love. Show their parents love. Treat them as you would any child. All they need is some extra love and patience .

Nathalie and Amanda

Its a very rough road I'm going through, would love to have support from family and friends if it were possible. But God is with me and is my strength. In it all, I plan to sparkle through it.



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

HYDROCEPHALUS.

I remember while growing up, in Sunday school class, being taught that Jesus took away our sicknesses and diseases. I always pondered why they made it sound like there was a lot of sickness and disease . After all, there were just Malaria, fever, cough, conjunctivitis, measles, polio, period pain, chicken pox, typhoid and "madness"(mental health). These were the diseases I knew as a young child.

As I grew older, I realised there were loads more sickness and disease in the world. Relocating from Nigeria to England, I realised that I didn't even know half of the ailments in the world. I have come to realise that there are so many that I cannot begin to list them. This thought has also made me ponder the weight of these sicknesses and diseases that Jesus had to bear on the cross.

Recently, I came across a mother and her daughter. Her daughter has what is known as HYDROCEPHALUS  also known as water in the brain.
(watch out for their story on Friday )

Hydrocephalus is a build up of fluid on the brain. This fluid when in excess, puts pressure on the brain which can damage it.

There are three main types of hydrocephalus:

a)Congenital hydrocephalus:- This is when the child is born with excess fluid in the brain(present at birth). This is also known as water on the brain. Many babies born with hydrocephalus have permanent brain damage. Due to this, they have long term complications such as learning disabilities, memory problems, short attention span, impaired speech, vision problems, epilepsy, physical co-ordination.

b)Acquired hydrocephalus:-This develops after birth and can affect both adults and children.
This could occur after a serious head injury, complications from a medical condition like brain tumour.

c)Normal pressure hydrocephalus:-This usually only develops in older people. NPH is rare and is a poorly understood condition that affects people who are over the age of 60. It could occur after a stroke or head injury. In most cases , the cause is unknown.
Dementia, urinary incontinence ,mobility problems are all main symptoms of NPH. But, because they come gradually and are similar to symptoms of other more common conditions like Alzheimer's disease, it can be difficult to diagnose.

Regular check ups are advised to be done. Please do not take headaches for granted or any pains to do with the head.
Brain scans such as CT scan and MRI scans can be used to diagnose congenital and acquired hydrocephalus.

TREATMENT:
We will look at the treatments next week. Till then, stay sparkling.

Information source: NHS CHOICES. The Information Standard

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

CARING FOR MY BRAIDS

I have been receiving messages from friends and even people I don't know asking about my hair and how I care for it. 

This has actually made me miss carrying my natural hair but I have had to give it some time to rest from my touching hands.

I'll try to talk about my hair more often and will try to do a short video when I can on my hair routine. Which honestly isnt much.

I've had braids on for almost a month now. And I must say that it's been a relief of not having to wake up an extra half hour to sort my hair out.


I found a great Cantu hair treatment that's perfect for braids and I haven't had any itching I must confess.
Its the Apple Cider Vinegar Root Relief  +Peppermint Oil. It's been so good. 



I did have my doubts about it at first because I get dry scalp when I have weaves or braids on, but it sure is working for me.
No dandruff, no irritation. 
Yaay.

I would have taken my braids off right about this time but will keep it for the full month and then I'll see what my hair look like.

For those with natural hair. Please can you share with us what you use for your hair and how you are able to avoid breakage?

I'm looking to change to curls once my braids go off.
Wish me luck people.
Keep sparkling. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

THE GREATEST WEALTH IS HEALTH.

It is always awesome for me to meet or interact with men and women who are creating jobs for themselves and building a positive look as Nigerians no matter where they are.

Meet a young Entrepreneur whose career is to help people have a healthy lifestyle.


He is from Anambra State. Eastern part of Nigeria, but was born and brought up in Los Angeles. He is a twin and not only does he understand the Igbo language, speaks it and is very proud of his culture.

Valentine with twin brother


He left Los Angeles for Nigeria at the age of thirteen (13) to attend an amazing boarding school called Gaius Benton at Oko, Anambra State. He was there from JSS2-SS2 (Year8-Year11). He enjoyed every minute spent there and is proud to be an Igbo man.

He returned to Los Angeles for his senior year in High school. After graduation, he was admitted into Carlifornia State University in Los Angeles were he studied Nursing and graduated with Bachelor Of Science in Nursing.



During his time in University, he was President of three organisations, which he ran rather successfully.

He joined a black College fraternity called the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc of which he says he is  proud of.

Our mission is to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence whilst providing advocacy and services for the community. A lot of Nigerians are a part of it as well.

After he graduated, he started working but was laid off six months into the job, rather than being held back by it, he was inspired into starting a Health Management Business. Though, being laid off was very disappointing for him, it was also the best thing that could have happened to him.




His Health Management Business is focused on helping people with their health, from weight loss, weight gain and energy, to changing their bad eating habits to a balanced and healthier diet for a better well being. He mentors and supports people. This is something he is passionate about.

 His main focus is on Nutrition. He works with a company called Herbal Life Nutrition and through them, sells Nutrition products.



He has been on this amazing journey for six (6) years and with his experiences ,he looked for a way in which he could reach out to more people to help them. This led to his podcast project, the Think Alpha Project." An empowering podcast for young growth minded people who want to take their lives to new places". Most especially, empowering minorities like himself.

You can visit his site -www.thinkalpha.net - "Think for yourself. Make moves. Make a difference".



                           Meet Valentine Ewudo of Think Alpha Project, doesn't he just sparkle?


Saturday, 16 September 2017

SHOE LOVE.


Give me a good pair of shoes and a beautiful dress and I just want to put them on and head out the doors.

People generally, love good things and love to look good. Especially when it comes to designer shoes.

Meet a hardworking man. A shoe designer and entrepreneur from Ikorodu town, Lagos State, Southern part of Nigeria, who is making Nigeria proud.

His passion for shoes begun over thirty (30) years ago when he went on a visit with his mother to former military governor of Lagos State, whom his mother was working for at the time , late Air Comodore Gbolahan Mudasiru .

The wife of the late governor had asked their kids not to forget to pick up their shoes from the shoe cobblers place and asked if he would like to go with them and pick a pair for himself, he said yes.

This is his story:

I got a pair of sandals that day but watching how shoes were made whilst there got me excited.

When my pair of sandals got spoilt, I looked for a shoe cobbler close to my house and everyday I spent four (4) hours with him learning shoe making.
 
I went to the shoe cobbler everyday while in secondary school and my mum never knew until I got to class 5(SS2) when she caught me with a pair of shoes. Since then, I really didn't look back.

EDUCATION:

I attended Federal College of Chemical and Leather Technology,  Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria in 1993.

I obtained certificate in Footwear Manufacturing  Process Introduction in Assutoria, Milan, Italy. I also obtained an Advanced National Diploma in Footwear Technology from Cordwinners College, United Kingdom (now known as University London College of Fashion).

After spending time working in the UK, In 2011, I returned home and  established my shoe factory called Sola Benson Exclusive Shoes Company. 

I was producing shoes for ten (10) years in Nigeria before going abroad to further my studies, so I already knew the problems of production and sales in Nigeria. 

I would come to Nigeria once in a while to familiarise myself with how the business works and decided to return home from Ireland were my family and I lived. 

I also realised that the Nigerian youths were not empowered and footwear business did not have the right expatriates in Nigeria. 

I decided it would be best to relocate my company to Nigeria.

Nigeria is one of the largest countries that exports leather. About 90% of our leather is exported.

I get my leather from Mushin, Lagos State. Though we have so much of our leather coming from Kano. I get my materials at Mushin when supply arrives from Kano. I do not import any of my raw materials.


I now live and work at Ikorodu. Due to the high rate of people seeking work, i decided to train around 100 people who are  interested in learning the trade. People who are unable to go to the university. We have a training institution called  Sola Benson 
Exclusive Shoes Training Institute at Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria.


All they need do is buy the materials they would be using during the training.

The plan is to run this programme for two and a half years, which already has started.

 I would like to see Ikorodu turn into a shoe making city in the future.

I have designed shoes for people like Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and Ooni of Ife. His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.

I make all sorts of shoes and styles. For young and old. I make shoes for everyone. 





My business is growing and I'm getting a lot of people, even graduates come to train.

I am doing what I truly love and getting joy from it.

My name is Adesola Omotayo Benson and I'm sparkling.

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