Boundaries

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Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

Originally posted on Shades of Us.

I have been thinking about boundaries a lot.

As a people, and by that I mean Africans and black people in general, we seem to be have a poor understanding of boundaries. In a way, it can be blamed on our socio-cultural style of community living. You see, our cultures promote relationships where it is okay for everyone to be in your space: expected even.

Parents believe that since they birthed a child, they have exclusive rights to all aspects of their lives. Siblings and friends think their relationship guarantee them unfettered access…


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Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

This was originally posted on my blog, Shades of Us.

‘Remember the family from which you are from and be careful the things you do.’

These words from my mother were playing in my head as I walked to the chemist to buy contraceptives.

You see, I had not been thinking of my parents when I had sex, and I had definitely not been thinking of my family when I had sex without protection. So here I was, 17 years old, feeling my heart constrict as I thought, ‘Was I pregnant? Could I be pregnant from having done it once?’


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A young boy leaning on a corrugated Zinc fence.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

This was originally posted on my blog, Shades of Us.

Every time I think of poverty in many African communities, I can’t help but mull over how this poverty is experienced on various levels. Thankfully, there is a term that effectively explains this: multidimensional poverty.

According to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), “Multidimensional poverty encompasses the various deprivations experienced by poor people in their daily lives — such as poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, disempowerment, poor quality of work, the threat of violence, and living in areas that are environmentally hazardous, among others.”

This…


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Shades of Us is supporting Girls Virtual Summit 2020, an event hosted by SWAG Initiative to commemorate International Day of the Girl. Here is what you need to know about the event.

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012 was the first day of the Girl Child.

The observation supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal…


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Ramatu Ada Ochekliye presented this paper at the 7th Nigerian Annual Population Lecture Series that happened in Abuja in 2019. The theme of the series was ‘Nigeria’s Population Issues: Harnessing 21st Century Innovations to Achieve Demographic Dividends’. This article was originally posted on Shades of Us.

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In 1758 when Carl Linnaeus introduced the term, Homo sapiens, and the rest of the world accepted it as the only human species still in existence, the ‘most advanced of the lot’, the ‘wise man’, he probably didn’t know that a new species of humans were on their way to becoming the extant…


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Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Originally posted on my blog, Shades of Us.

For some reason, the thought of a colleague I used to have came into my head. And it was followed by such immense disgust that I had to take long, deep breaths to calm myself.

He — of course it was a man — was the definition of classless. I want to call him ‘dumb dumb’ but I am learning to be nicer to people. So, I will settle with Mr. O.

Mr. O believed that he could say whatever he wanted to me and for the life of me, I couldn’t…


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Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas from Pexels

This article was first posted on my blog, Shades of Us. Read more articles like this by visiting my blog.

As long as I can remember, I have always cared about the issues that affect Africa, Africans and people of African dissent, with special focus on how these issues affect women and children. Even as a child in primary school, I can remember expressing anger at people who treated women and children poorly and standing up for the girls in my class. …


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Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma’aji from Pexels

In many African countries, young people are raised to have respect for their elders. However, the kind of respect that is expected borders on complete deference, creating a situation where, by default, older people are almost always assumed to be right on all issues, while younger people are expected to acquiesce their views, choices and decision in favor of the more ‘mature’ ones of the old.

Respecting older people is good. In fact, it is a testament of good morals and upbringing to be respectful of people who are older than you. Extending a greeting first, helping an older person…


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Originally posted on Shades of Us.

It is 2020 and many families across Africa are still auditioning women for the ‘opportunity’ to become a slave wife in their family.

What does this mean?

Well…it starts with a man asking a lady to be his girl. Depending on the prevalent culture, she responds after some pressure and appropriate time has passed, and they begin to date. She is now crowned with the title, girlfriend, which is where she begins to, slave off do all she can to prove she is a worthy and the one who should be chosen for the…


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From the moment I finished my film directing course at the Royal Arts Academy in Lagos, Nigeria, I have been introducing myself as a filmmaker…along with the other titles I like to describe myself as. Yet, four years since I earned that certificate, I do not have any film — short or feature — to my name.

Oh! It isn’t because I haven’t tried. I have tried, alright! But a series of rookie mistakes have made me a filmmaker in name only.

My first foray into film making started in 2016, just after I finished my directing course. A couple…

Ramatu Ada Ochekliye

Ramatu Ada Ochekliye is a freelance content creator. She has a blog called ‘Shades of Us’ (http://www.shadesofus.co.uk/)

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