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US Government Donates Books Worth $20,000 in Honour of Late Nigerian Student

The US Embassy in Nigeria has expressed disappointment in the quality of the 2019 elections in Nigeria.

The US Embassy said in a statement on Thursday that low turnout of voters, voter intimidation, interference by security forces, vote buying and violence reportedly marred the conduct of the elections in some locations.

It admonished all stakeholders to work towards a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful process, especially for those who would participate in Saturday’s supplementary polls across many states.

“As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow closely the still ongoing elections. We do not have a preferred party or candidate,” the embassy said in a statement.

“As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, we too were disappointed by the low voter turnout as well as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote buying, interference by security forces, and violence in some locations.

“We are saddened by those acts of violence and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security services.”

The Mission expressed support for a democratic process “where the will of the Nigerian people is reflected in the results.”

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Finding A Safe Place For you When you struggle with your mental health“There is no love in marriage, friendship or family. Love is in yourself.”

Thirteen women gathered on the 24th of February, 2019, at Africa’s premier life clinic – Safe Place in Ikeja, Lagos for She Writes Woman’s Safe Place (mental health) support group. Since October 2017, She Writes Woman has run monthly women-only support groups in Lagos, and held some in Abuja, Ibadan and Kaduna. About 800 women have benefited from these groups.

Despite being a rainy day with elections just the day before, these women showed up for each other. We talked about things ranging from valid feelings to forgiveness, from important relationships to a formula for happiness. Our facilitator was Oyinkansola Alabi, an emotional intelligence expert and the founder of Emotions City.

The floor was opened with questions centered on friendships, dealing with romantic relationships and mental disorders, coping with heartbreak, abusive relationships, family issues, work-life balance, being emotionally intelligent and more. Truth is, when it comes to relationships, we all always have a lot to say, and lots more to ask.

Relationships are a very important aspect of our lives. They form the basis for purpose and a sense of belonging. Extensive research shows that having good and quality relationships can help us to live longer and happier lives with fewer mental health problems. Loneliness and isolation remain the key predictors of poor mental health. Research has also shown that poor quality or unhappy relationships have a higher negative influence than being alone.

With that in mind, our facilitator began the session with, “Your feelings are valid.”

How many of us truly believe that our feelings are valid? And how could we have? From a young age, we were continuously told, “Don’t cry, you’re a big girl,” “hold your lips” while crying, and we made to shut down as adults when we try to express our feelings.

Then someone asked, “What about forgiveness? Is it possible to forgive someone after years of hurt?”

“Forgiveness is a process,” Alabi answered. “The term, ‘forgiving and forgetting’ doesn’t exist.”

Ah! That hit me hard. Imagine my relief just hearing these words. The person who sold us this idea really pulled a quick one on us. I had always wondered what level of amnesia I needed to have in order to forget a wrongdoing. It just never made sense to me.

“You must forgive at your own pace depending on what you want to achieve. In fact, forgiveness is a three step thing – forgive first, restore second and reconcile last.”

I have seen first hand what the pressure of ‘forgiving and forgetting’ has had on us as a people. We have begun to suppress our feelings and expressions to just create an illusion that forgiveness has taken place. In real terms, what has happened is that we have transferred our anger and hurt (which are perfectly normal emotions) from the person or situation to a kind of resentment (a very deadly emotion) to our own selves.

Outlets like conversations, jogging and other physical activity, journaling, drawing, coloring, etc., are healthy ways to cope or release unexpressed emotions.

“Emotional wellness is not repression. Emotional stability is not denial. It’s not suppression, its expression.” This is why forgiveness must be at your own pace. Your emotions are to be expressed the way and at the pace they can. Forgiveness won’t take place in a day.

But another very important thing to note is who you are devoting your energy to. Let’s face it, some people or situations are just not worth the stress.

“Life is full of balls and eggs. Eggs are those things that when they fall, you fall. Spend 80% of your energy on your eggs. Balls are those things that when they fall, they bounce back up,” Alabi explained.

By far, this was my key takeaway. Key takeaways are perhaps the longest tradition of Safe Place support groups. At the end of every support group, we all take turns to share the one thing we’re leaving the session with.

Eggs could be your family, friends or anything so important to you that if something negative happens to them, you feel the impact in a dire way.

It hit me there and then that a lot of us have been doing this relationship thing all wrong. We invest much of our time, emotions and energy on people who are balls and then we live in this cycle of perpetual dissatisfaction and unfulfillment in our lives and relationships. Your balls will bounce back, your eggs will break. Think about it and let it sink.

We ended our session learning about happiness. After all, that’s really what we ultimately hope that our relationships will give us, right?

When people typically say they are happy, it’s because their current life’s condition or situations or happenings match their expectations. That means – Life Condition = Expectations = Happiness. When your life’s conditions don’t match your expectations, that’s typically when we experience what we call “unhappiness.” That is – Life Condition ≠ Expectations = Unhappiness

This means our great expectations from life and standards we set on ourselves may be the underlying cause of our lack or fulfillment. It might include where you want to be (career, relationship, living conditions, possessions, etc.), who you want to be and how to get to the place that would define success or happiness for you. It’s good to set goals and try to achieve, but sometimes our expectations are holding us back from enjoying life as it is in this moment.

So maybe you didn’t factor losing a life partner, parent, having an abusive partner, being fired from a job, not getting married by thirty. If that is the reality, you must first come to terms with it and then manage and adjust your blueprint or expectations. This means the expectations and standards you had previously set for yourself – consciously or subconsciously, especially in line with societal pressures – will probably have to change. And that’s okay.

For many of us who hold ourselves to very high standards, who value excellence and seem to want to control the outcomes of everything, this can be especially hard and almost seem like reducing our standards sometimes. But you’re not alone. The quest for mentally healthy relationships and living is laced with hard choices to unlearn and relearn new ways to choose our mental wellness over all else.

Join our next women-only Safe Place support group by texting SAFE to 0817 491 3329

The post She Writes Woman: A Safe Place For You appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

Hello BellaNaijarians!

It’s the weekend! Wow, how they come so fast. Your time to rest, have fun. Here’s your go-to list for all the exciting events this weekend.

Scroll through to see.

For all the events happening near you, be sure to follow @bnrsvp on Instagram.

To have your event featured for free, send an email with details of the event – Theme, Date, Time, Venue and a short description – to events (at) bellanaija (dot) com.

Do not forget to check BellaNaija.com every Thursday for the event listing everywhere!

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Branding Summit
The event, aiming at helping brands to expand to global markets using local creativity and personal
branding is scheduled to hold at the NAF conference centre on 21st March.

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019.
Venue: NAF Conference Centre Kado, Abuja.
RSVP: Here.


Veuve Clicquot: Lagos Polo Club
The outdoor soiree is set to be a delightful event filled with stylish decor, fabulous haute couture fashion and action polo!

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019 – Sunday, March 24, 2019
Time: 12 PM.
Venue: Lagos Polo Club


Free Hands

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Venue: Ado Soba, off Badagry Expressway.
RSVP: Here.


French Gastronomy : Good France 

Date: Thursday 21, at NOIR, Tarragon, Eric Kayser; Friday 22, at Sky restaurant; Saturday 23, at De Bull
Venue: Victoria Island, Lagos.


Men Can End Violence Conference

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Time: 9 AM.
Venue: University of Lagos, Main Auditorium.


Ibejii

Live Music With Ibejii
With plans to tap into the mystery of a tribe who alone are born with natural best friends, guests can expect an exceptional night of live music headlined by Ibejii.

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Time: 6:30 PM.
Venue: The Ethnic Heritage Center, 35A Raymond Njoku St., Ikoyi, Lagos.


Friends of Africa
HVS Cares 5th annual fundraising event Friends of Africa hosted by HVS Beauty, celebrating and supporting Kids Clean Club and Scholar X, will be taking place on Saturday, March 23rd at District Art Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Time: 6 PM.
Venue: District Art Gallery in Houston, Texas.


Lord’s Achievers Gin
Lord’s Dry Gin will be marking the 24th of March – International Day of Achievers by honoring the exceptional performance and accomplishments of 8 under 40 achievers in different professional landscapes in Nigeria: Health, Professional, Tech, Creative, Arts, Business, and Innovation.

Date: Sunday, March 24, 2019.
Venue: Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, GRA, Ikeja.


#PowwowwithE

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
Time: 10 AM.
Venue: Ikeja, Lagos.
RSVP: Here.

The post #BNRSVP Events this Weekend appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

The much-anticipated web series ‘Life As It Is’ has premiered.

Directed and produced by Uche Odoh, ‘Life As It Is’ stars Shalewa Ashafa, Linda Osifo, Chike Osebuka, Shawn Faqua, Lateef Adedimeji, Adebukola Oladipupo, Bassey Ekpenyong, Uche Nwaefuna, Uche Mac-Auley, Christian Paul and many more.

The web series focuses on the life of a Naïve young lady ‘Nara’ who moves out of her overbearing mother’s house Mrs. Nkechi to spend time with her Aunty, Jumoke. The web series will take us through Nara’s ordeal with work, relationship and basically LIFE AS IT IS.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Watch episode 1 below.

The post Episode 1 of ‘Life As It Is’ starring Shalewa Ashafa, Linda Osifo, Lateef Adedimeji is HERE! Watch Now appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

It’s World Down Syndrome Day today, guys!

This year’s theme is #LotsOfSocks and how it works is you’re supposed to wear brightly colored longggg socks and make sure you mismatch them.

So you have pink and blue and yellow wiggly worms on your right foot, and on the left you have black panthers and green grass and the purple night sky and grey toads.

It’s fine if it’s too late for that already. But if you still can, go for it!

Find out more about the experiences about persons living with Down Syndrome in Nigeria HERE. You may also read the essay by Bukola Ayinde on Love without Boundaries.

Let’s celebrate every Nigerian living with Down Syndrome.

Watch this inspiring video on BN

The post Happy World Down Syndrome Day! appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to claims by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by 1.6 million votes at the February polls.

According to the APC’s national publicity secretary Lanre Isa-Onilu, the PDP “have engaged in series of circus shows to cheer up their crestfallen and disillusioned members.”

Isa-Onilu said the opposition party is demonstrating severe post-election depression hallucinatory signs.

The APC national publicity secretary then called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be wary of PDP’s alleged plans to compromise the commission’s database.

See full statement below:

The post PDP Suffering from Depression, Post-Defeat Hallucination – APC appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

Netflix on Wednesday, released the official trailer for the third season of “Stranger Things”.

We’re so looking forward to the show which will debut on July 4th.

There are a few things you may have missed in the trailer and we’ve got you! Like the fact that it’s set in 1985, there may be an infection spreading across Hawkins, e.t.c

Insider has a video dedicated to this, but first, watch the trailer below:

Watch what you may have missed below:

The post You May have Missed these Important Details in the “Stranger Things” Season 3 Trailer | WATCH appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

Adulthood is a scam, or so you think. I, on the other hand believe: Life is a scam!

Think about it: what is the true essence of life? If, like me, you have been wondering and pondering on what the true meaning of life is, what the creator’s purpose for this creation is, where we are headed, what the whole point to come, run the rat race, make a few bucks and wait for “closing time” or as said in the holy books “the trumpet” to tell us ‘TIME’S UP’ is, then maybe you know what I mean.

Millennials rage against adulthood, their going unpreparedness into this new phase of life, one that comes with responsibilities, paying bills, planning for a new family, planning one’s life and the list goes on and on. Adult 101 is supposed to be taught in college, says one confused transitioning being. Why weren’t we warned against this 9-5 rat race, says another already frustrated prospective adult. My family thinks it’s time to get married. But I don’t make enough money yet so how do I do that? yet another confused being called Adult says.

They complain about not being prepared for the phase called adulthood, of not being equipped with adequate information, techniques, knowledge and wisdom, but, actually, was anybody ready for life?

Were we ready to be birthed into this world of sin? Into Nigeria? Into Lagos? (I sure know I wasn’t ready. Forget the phrase “We were born ready” *rolls eye*)

Life As We Know It

Birth (The Coming Phase)
We rejoice in the birth of yet another unprepared soul into a world filled with confusion. If you are fortunate, you are handed a silver spoon. If not, you join the 98% living with either bronze spoon or no spoon.

Childhood
Another unprepared phase called childhood. If you are among the fortunate few, you live through a less confused and torturing childhood while still trying to understand your new environment.

If you are female and fortunate, life would not throw molestation and abuse your way. If not, you join the large percentage who have either been molested, abused, married off to a pedophile or kidnapped by the men of the underworld and made to carry children at childhood.

If you are male and fortunate, you have a father who is responsible enough to show you the ropes while showing you love. If not, you join the rest who are either fatherless or don’t have fathers who are role models to guide them.

P.S: Having a father to show you the ropes doesn’t mean you have it figured out.

Adolescence
Here comes yet another acute phase of glorious confusion. The journey to becoming (becoming more confused). If you are among the fortunate few, you get to choose what you want to be and how you want to live (not in an African setting though). If not, you join the 80% who are forced to live out the dreams of their parents, a life without fulfillment.

You become what they want you to become regardless of your own dreams, strengths, passion and joy. You study what they want you to study, pick the college they want you to go, read and watch what they want you to.

The only thing you do is watch; watch as the man or woman you are is been silenced by these people whose intention is to show love, guide and protect.

The Rat Race (The Ultimate State of Confusion)
Getting a degree, the 9-5, building a career, starting a business, being an entrepreneur, building an empire, building the dream house, buying the dream car, marrying the best wife/husband, getting the dream job, spending at least five years in traffic, starting a family.

If you are among the fortunate few, you get it right, make some bucks, scale up a few companies and leave happily. But to what end? What was or is the golden prize for the race? A multi-dollar company (one that if not properly managed after your demise would end up in ruins)? A family? The Rolls Royce or Bugatti?

If you are not among the fortunate few: you toil and struggle to have a roof over your head, to have one or two cars and children you can send to the best schools who will continue the struggle called life, and then you leave – just like that.

So, what is the ultimate goal or prize for this race called life? While you ponder on that, here are five ways to turn life from scam to fab.

Enjoy the journey
The truth is that not every one of us will figure it out. Most will leave clueless. I guess that’s why they say the graveyard is the richest place. First, understand that having money doesn’t mean you have discovered the true essence of life or how to live it, and that not having money doesn’t mean you cannot truly enjoy life.

To understand how to enjoy life in your present state, read Joyce Meyer’s Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going.

Take each day as a blessing
See each day as a blessing and a gift. We cannot control everything that happens in this life that we have been given, what we can do is see each day given as a gift to do better, to use the lessons learned from yesterday as a tool to navigating future difficulties.

In Arlissa’s We Won’t Move: “Step by step, bricks by bricks…”

Travel, Laugh, Dance
Travel and see the world if you can. Take in the beauty of what life has to offer, travel with friends and family. Get a camera and capture these moments, the laughter we share when we can, the tears with loved ones. Dance when your favorite music comes up, laugh when you hear something silly.

In Lee Ann Womack‘s words:

May you never take one single breath for granted
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

Don’t be afraid to ask from life what you deserve
Demand, demand, demand! It’s yours to take.

If life gives you lemons, take tequila shots or just make lemonades if you like the cliché
Just make magic out of bad situations. Because they’ll keep coming.

The post Bodunrin Afolabi: Life is a Scam! appeared first on BellaNaija - Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.