What You Need to Know About Durbar Festival (Hawan Sallah) in Northern Nigeria

What You Need to Know About Durbar Festival (Hawan Sallah) in Northern Nigeria

Durbar Festival which is known in northern Nigeria as ‘Hawan Sallah’, is a historic horseriding fiesta celebrated by traditional rulers particularly the Emirs in their respective domains. It involves assembly and consecution of traditional rulers comprising the chiefs, district heads and other traditional title holders in an emirate alongside their cabinet members in a public square, usually in front of the emirs’ palaces or a designated place for that purpose.

The Hawan Sallah festival usually takes place during the muslims’ Eid festival periods (Eid el-fitr and Eid Al-Adha). It is marked by an exhibition of horse riding techniques by the Emir and his entourage, in the company of hunters, bodyguards and traditional musicians. It is celebrated yearly in cities across Northern Nigeria. The cities include Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Zaria(Zazzau), Bauchi, Daura, Hadejia, Gumel, Bida and so on.

During the Hawan Sallah event, there is usually a full demonstration of traditional war strategies and instruments under the watch of the chief cavalry officer known in Hausa as ‘Madawaki’. Madawaki in the ancient Hausa kingdoms is responsible for taking charge of war activities, especially that it has to do with horses. He is the person under whose shoulder emirs based their military might.

Origin Of Hawan Sallah

Though the word ‘Durbar’ was said to be of Persian origin, relating to the ceremonial assemblies marking the proclamation of Queen Victoria as the Empress of colonial India in 1877, ‘Hawan Daushe’, ‘Hawan Daba’ and ‘Hawan Sallah’ are the phrases often used to describe the event in Hausa land. ‘Hawan’ is a Hausa word that means ‘mounting onto something’.

History of the origin of the longstanding horse-riding culture has been in existence for over 500 years in Hausa land and can be traced down to the era of Muhammad Rumfa, the 20th Emir of Kano.

During and after Fulani Jihad, horses were used in warfare to protect the Emirate. Each noble household was expected to defend the Emirate by forming a regiment. Once a year, the regiments would gather for a military parade to demonstrate allegiance to their ruler, by showcasing their horsemanship, readiness for war, and loyalty.

How Hawan Sallah Is Celeberated In Kano

The Hawan Sallah in Kano is assumed to be the largest durbar procession in the world. It is a procession of colourful horses which evolved with the history, culture and tradition of the people of Kano over a period of time.

The procession is strictly men only who usually dressed in magnificent turbans many with one ear or two sticking out denoting their royal linage.

After the Eid prayer from ‘Masallacin Idi’ in ƙofar mata, Makama of Kano leads the Durbar procession through some of the notable gates of Kano. They pass through Kofar Wambai to Zage, Sharifai, Yola, Satatima and then to Kurawa Quarters before terminating at the ground in front of Gidan Rumfa (Palace) near the Central Mosque.

As the Emir passes through these notable gates and quarters, he receives greetings from people living in those places. He stops in some locations where some senior citizens come out and pray for him.

One of such locations is the Sharifai Quarters where the Sharifai (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him) led by the Sarkin Sharifai, Sidi Fari pay homage and pray for the Emir and the society.

The Emir passes through important quarters that make up the nucleus of the pre-colonial Kano leather and textile industry this area includes Kofar Wambai, Dukawa, Darma and Zage.

The former Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II during Hawan sallah
The former Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II during Hawan sallah

The Emir acknowledges greetings from these merchants and craftsmen. He then passes through and acknowledges greetings from people in the nucleus of Kano aristocracy covering Yola and Satatima Quarters then to Kurawa Quarters which has the highest concentration of the royalty in Kano.

The Emir then moves to Gidan Shatiman Kano or the Chamber of Kano State Council of Chiefs. At this juncture, the Emir greets the State Governor in the company of his Executive Council, leaderships of the State Legislature and Judiciary and Chairman of the Kano Municipal Council.

After the exchange of pleasantries, the Emir moves to Kofar Kwaru, which is in the northern part of the Palace and it faces the West looking towards Kabara and Mandawari Quarters.

He delivers his Sallah Message to citizens of Kano State in this location. This address is usually made up of advice to authorities on poverty alleviation and admonishments to the citizens on various ways and means of avoiding epidemics and wastage of agricultural produce respectively.

Related historic event Hawan Daushe, comes a day after Sallah. It was introduced at the request of a favourite slave of the then Emir Muhammad Rumfa. His name is Daushe who happened to be ill during the Sallah celebration as such he couldn’t attend hawan Sallah. So the emir granted his request, and from then it became a traditional ceremony which is celebrated to date.

Durbar In Zaria (Zazzau)

Unlike the Kano emirate, the Zazzau emirate used to conduct Hawan Sallah, Hawan Daushe and Hawan Bariki to mark its Eid celebration.

Hawan Sallah begins shortly after the Eid prayer at Kofar Doka Eid ground in Zaria. The Emir and his entourage will ride on their horses back to the Emir’s palace. It is a journey of about 10 kilometres. In the course of this journey, district heads and other traditional titles holders will one after the other pay homage and pledge their loyalty to the Emir and simultaneously, demonstrate their equestrian skills to the cheering spectators.

The Emir of Zazzau during his annual Hawan sallah
The Emir of Zazzau during his annual Hawan Sallah

‘Hawan Bariki’ comes a day after Sallah. The Emir in the company of districts heads and his cabinet members depart the palace at 08:00 am to the Kaduna State Government House which is located in GRA, Sabon Gari area to pay homage to the governor of the state or his representative.

During the event, the Emir gets the opportunity to present all the needs and complaints of his people to the state governor.

‘Hawan Daushe’ which is the last of the Sallah events in Zazzau emirate takes place two days after Sallah. It brings people of different types and from different parts of the world to Zazzau emirate.

It is conducted in the evening, shortly after asr prayer. The Emir together with his district heads moves out of the palace on the horseback to rally the ancient city of Zaria and then back to his palace. It is through this event that the residents get the opportunity of meeting the emir face-to-face.

During this event, the palace’s princes engage in a demonstration of horse-riding skills competition and display of royal regalia to outshine one another. The best district head will be chosen at the end of the event.

Hawan Sallah In Katsina

The ‘Hawan Sallah in Katsina begins when the emir enters the event ground under a huge parasol, surrounded by a splendid entourage of ‘fadawa’ (the indigo turbaned horsemen), guards bedecked with ostrich feathers, camels and servants in brightly-coloured robes.

Hawan sallah in Katsina
Hawan sallah in Katsina

The next thing is for the turbaned horse riders to pay homage to the Emir before proceeding to the parade ground. When hundreds of horsemen gathered in the parade ground, the Emir’s procession begins down the centre, including his guards, his sons, riderless horses for his wives, and camels.

The Emir will then ride among his guards and servants. He’ll begin by paying respect to the governor, the horse regiments would then race up to the Emir at a gallop to demonstrate their courage, agility, and respect. Afterwards, the Emir gives an address to the crowd’s approval.

Everything You Need to Know About Eidul Kabir in Northern Nigeria

Everything You Need to Know About Eidul Kabir in Northern Nigeria

Eid Kabir, also known as “Eid ul-Adha” or “Eid Qurban”, is the most important festival among the three grand festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide annually, including in northern Nigeria. The other two are “Eid Fitr” and “Eid Maulud.” 

Eid Kabir is also celebrated to mark the ending of “Hajj”, the pious pilgrimage to the city of Makkah, and observed on the very last day of the religious journey. The festival is celebrated on the tenth day of ‘Dhul Hijjah’, which is the twelfth and last month of the Islamic lunar calendar; the date shifts approximately eleven days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar. This celebration of Eid Kabir goes on extending up to the thirteenth day of Dhul Hijjah. 

Origin/History and Significance of Eid Kabir to Muslims

Eid Kabir, also known also as Eid Qurban or Eid ul-Adha, both meaning “Festival of the Sacrifice”, trace its origin from the story of Prophet Ibrahim according to the Quran.

Prophet Ibrahim had made prayer and promise to God to sacrifice a child of his own if God blessed him with children. After being granted his wish by God, the oath Prophet Ibrahim made visited him in his dreams where he dreamt he was slaughtering his firstborn son named Ismail. He then informed Ismail about the dream, who insisted that his father fulfil God’s command.

Ibrahim then took Ismail to ‘Mount Moriah’ where he intended to carry out his intentions. The devil (Shaytan) however, did not like the decision Ibrahim had made to obey God. So he tried persuading him not to.

But the prophet did not listen, with the help of ‘Angel Jibreel’, he threw pebbles at Shaytan in order to drive him away from the scene. After he succeeded and Shaytan was gone, Ibrahim proceeded further to carry out his intended act. However, God in his infinite mercy looked upon the dutiful heart of Ibrahim and sent Angel Jibreel a ‘ram’ in order to give to Ibrahim to replace Ismail for the intended sacrifice. Hence, Ismail was saved.

Eid Kabir since then has been celebrated annually by Muslims across the world to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in obedience to God’s command and fulfilment of his promise. Each year, Muslims on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah sacrificed rams to celebrate this festival. In its absence, sacrificed cows, goats, and camels are used.

Eid Activities in Northern Nigeria

Festivals are a time to play songs people know and are looking forward to hearing.

Scott Hutchison

Here in northern Nigeria, Eid Kabir also known as ‘Babban Sallah’ or ‘Sallan Layya’ is celebrated by Muslims before and during the festival in so many ways. The whole atmosphere turns into a cheerful and festive mood where northerners engage in the following: 

1. Beautification of Self

Starting from a week to Eid Kabir, the complete and thorough beautification of the body is common among northern Nigerian Muslims.

As observed, practices among women include grooming of toe and fingernails, styling and braiding of hair, and “Lalle”. Boys/men similarly engage in grooming of nails and barbing of hair.

Both parties busy themselves purchasing fabrics and handing them to tailors to make beautiful outfits for them to wear throughout the festive period. Markets are full, orders are made online, and everyone is in feverish excitement to buy clothes and accessories to adorn himself/herself with in order to look their best on the occasion. 

2. Purchasing of Sacrificial Rams/Animals

As earlier said, Eid Kabir is a time where Muslims everywhere are striving to purchase rams or other animals which they are to use for sacrifice, starting mostly from a fortnight to it. Although the sacrifice itself is not made until the marked day, this purchasing; mandated for those who can afford it, is mostly done beforehand as rams then are generally cheaper.

This means that the earlier you buy them, the cheaper they will be. Men can be seen everywhere buying and transporting rams in preparation for the big day. 

3. Attending Communal Prayer (Eid Prayer)

Young and old, male and female, are seen on the morning of Eid Kabir in large and countless congregations making their journey noisily and vibrantly in new attires to attend communal prayer/Eid prayer nearest to them.

This Eid prayer, also known as ‘Salat al-Eid’, is a special morning prayer after sunrise, offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals. The first is offered on Eid Fitr while the second is offered on Eid Kabir. Although this prayer is not exactly mandatory, it is highly recommended for Muslims considering the huge reward associated with it.  

Traditionally, Eid prayers are offered in large congregations in open fields separating the women from the men. Two ‘Raka’ats’ are prayed. Eid Kabir prayer unlike Eid Fitr is offered in an earlier and more hastened manner as the slaughtering of rams at home comes immediately after the prayers.

Common religious practices of Muslims on Eid day in relation to this prayer include:

Taking of ritual bath before going to the mosque.

Wearing one’s new or best outfit.

Going on foot to the prayer ground using different routes for the journey to and fro.

Eating only upon returning from Eid prayers.

4. Slaughtering of Rams and Sharing of Meat (Layya)

Eid Kabir is all about sacrificing an outlined animal and giving out parts of it in charity. Without this, the festival is meaningless. As such, the most important moment everyone is waiting for comes right after the offering of Eid prayers on the first day of Eid Kabir; which is why in Egypt, they refer to it as the ‘Meat Festival’.  

After the sacrificial animal is slaughtered, men can be seen engaging themselves in butchering the animal. Right after, women in the households take over, preparing the meat in various ways through frying and making of ‘Dambu’.

Families will normally engage the services of ‘Mahauta’ to butcher the animal. But before that, the person to offer the sacrifice; who is financially able, of sound man and reached the age of puberty, will slit the animal’s throat after offering some words of prayers.

The skin of the slaughtered animal is then given in charity to mosques. Whereas the meat of the animal is divided into three parts and shared in charity among the needy, neighbours, and owner’s immediate family.

5. Cooking and Sharing Food and Snacks in Large Quantities

Of course, no festival is complete without the attestation of the stomach. For a wedding or naming ceremony, it is grand. But for Eid Kabir, it is even grander.

Northern women are marvellous when it comes to preparing food. During the first and second day of Eid, they can be seen setting up firewood or otherwise under the wide-open sky; where they chat, joke, and laugh while preparing  Rice, ‘Tuwo’, ‘Waina’, ‘Sinasir’, or any other food or snack of their choice.

Read: 8 Foods You Can Make on Eid Day Apart from Rice

Food and drinks prepared are served to anyone visiting on the Eid period or sent to family and friends elsewhere. Also, this food is distributed to neighbours, typically by children of the house, who are more than happy to attend this errand in order to receive the customary ‘Goron Sallah’, one of the biggest highlights of Eid for them. 

6. Visiting of Family and Friends (Yawon Sallah)

Festivals are happy places and you don’t really want to enjoy them on your own.

Christine and the queens

If you are not visiting anyone on the day of Eid, be sure to expect visitors streaming in casually at all times. Why? Because Eid is a period where neighbour’s relatives, friends, and colleagues casually drop in to check on one another and share in the celebration and also give or receive “Goron Sallah”.

In northern Nigeria, celebrating Eid Kabir alone is unheard of. These visits happen mostly in the next three days after Eid and can continue up to a week. 

7. Attending Cultural Parade (Hawan Bariki and Hawan Daushe) 

The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals

Siddarth Katradagga

Among the Hausa people, ‘Hawa’ meaning ‘Mounting’, is what makes Eid special in Northern Nigeria. It also distinguishes it from other Eid celebrations across the country and world. This is a cultural event where colourfully dressed horsemen mounted on colourfully decorated horses, match across streets while being cheered on by a large crowd of Muslims dressed in beautiful attire.

Hawan Bariki and Hawan Daushe are examples of this parade observed on the second and third days of Eid Kabir respectively, each one having its cultural importance. These two types of parades are popular in northern Nigerian states including Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina.

They have been passed on from generation to generation and are held in very high esteem by the northerners that even members of the royal households including the king partake in this parade. The king waves and smiles at the people as he progresses slowly on his richly dressed horse and is escorted by palace members.

This rich tradition has made it annually possible for people to be linked up or reunited on the streets as they witness this parade, Also, it is a chance for the king to have close contact with his residing subjects and share in their celebration. In addition to that, every year, it keeps the tradition of the Hausa people alive. 

8. Going on Family Outings or Organized Events

If you are a restaurant, bakery, ice cream, or any food/confectionary or event centre owner, then it is the time of year for you to smile. Be sure to step up your game because family/friends’ outings, funfairs, school reunions, and other social events are all there to patronize you during Eid celebrations.

Here in northern Nigeria, families can be seen swarming in eateries to have good quality time. Because Eid Kabir is a public holiday period, social events such as kid funfairs and adult school reunions among others are a part of activities planned beforehand and enjoyed during Eid.

9. Watching of Religious Shows/ Pilgrims’ Activities

Apart from sermons, T.V shows, “The Message” which is displayed annually during Eid Kabir is popular among Muslims in northern Nigeria, it is an epic historical drama chronicling the life and times of the Messenger of God. This is shown every year to serve as a lesson to all and a reminder to those already familiar with it.

In addition, since Eid Kabir also marks the end of the Muslim annual pilgrimage in Makkah, their activities are displayed also on T.V. It has become part of Eid celebrations for Muslims in northern Nigeria to sit down and watch these shows.

10. Taking of Pictures/Internet Saga

Click! Smartphone cameras have replaced the traditional way of visiting photo studios to take photos during Eid. Although some people still maintain this tradition, most people prefer to conveniently take pictures with their phones at every step of their Eid celebration. This they keep for memories or to share with their family and friends.

In this 21st century, the internet, especially social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter Instagram, and Snapchat, has become very busy with people uploading and sharing experiences of themselves and others. Women especially busy themselves with sharing photos of their hennas. All in a jolly mood to keep the spirit of Eid alive days on after the celebration has ended.

This internet saga enables people separated by a large distance and unable to visit one another to continually share in each other’s celebration.

Conclusion

Looking back at these activities carried out by Muslims in northern Nigeria to celebrate Eid Kabir, one automatically feels like dropping by to personally share in the joyous mood and experiences of this period; which is a time of sharing and caring.

Visit Northern Nigeria, share in the hospitality of the Eid period, and tell us your own experiences of celebrating Eid Kabir in northern Nigeria.

Why Colourism Needs To Stop!

Why Colourism Needs To Stop!

What is the meaning of the term “black beauty?” is it a compliment meant to flatter people who are dark-skinned and look good, or is it in fact meant to downgrade darker women? Thinking about the possible meaning and origin of the word, it occurs to me how light-skinned people are not given this “presumed privilege”. That is to say, if you are light-skinned, you are simply accepted as beautiful, but if otherwise, then your beauty needs to be stressed!

Like telling someone “You look good today” when in fact saying “You look good” alone is sufficient. The person may at first feel happy and complimented but may begin to wonder if he/she looked less good on other days. Likewise, if you tell someone that he or she is a black beauty, it may mean the person is beautiful despite being black. So instead of telling people, they are black beauties, simply address them as “Beauties”.  

It is almost as if dark-skinned people are not expected to be beautiful and in the event that they are, it calls for a special celebration. I believe this discrimination is one of the few effects of colorism in our society today.

Colorism arises from a difference in skin tone colour and skin tone colour is dependent on melanin; which is responsible for determining skin and hair colour and is present in the skin in varying degrees, depending on how much a population has been exposed to the sun historically. Other factors such as geography and genetics then play another role in differentiating the skin tone colour of people of the same race and climate. 

Colorism; an offshoot of racism, is discrimination based on skin tone between people of the same race where lighter-skinned people are treated better than dark-skinned ones. It originated during the times Europeans enslaved Africans. During that period, the darker-skinned slaves were put to work in the fields while the lighter-skinned slaves with more European-like features took on more domestic and easier tasks within their masters’ households. This was done to cause separation within the enslaved community.

In 2002, Nigeria had over 99.5 million users of bleaching products placing second globally after India.

If you observe, Nigerians are constantly in the habit of mocking Ghanaians and Kenyans for being too black just because they are darker than us in complexion. In Northern Nigeria, there is a popular saying that goes:

Farar Mace Alkyabbar Mata

Unknown

Meaning “A fair lady is a cloak to other women” and in a deeper context simply means fair women are better and more attractive than darker women.

But what are the consequences of these bold claims thrown in favour and on the face of light and dark-skinned women in Nigeria? Below are among many of the negative effects of colorism especially for Nigerian women: 

1. Increases Preferential Treatment at Home and School

Sadly, the roots of colourism have taken deep into the fertile soil of our domestic lives. In our homes, neighbourhoods, and schools, children of lighter skin tone are treated better than their darker skin tone peers.

At home, lighter-skinned children are preferred when it comes to accompanying the mother to outings. Sometimes they are even given less stressful chores because they are deemed more fragile and precious. In large gatherings like weddings or ceremonies, light skin children are more adored and carried than darker ones who are told immediately to go to their parents.

Likewise, in school, lighter-skinned children are picked for parades, plays, and sometimes even quizzes to represent their respective classes, houses, or schools.

This personal preference may lead to loss of child confidence from a young age; promote sibling or peer rivalry and also break the trust between guardian and child. 

2. Leads to False Sense of Identity and Superiority

One of the effects of colorism is, it gives fair people a feeling of superiority. When you constantly show people that they are better or more attractive than their peers, you might as well just have issued them a blank check or lottery ticket to do whatever the hell they want. Their egos rise and some of them automatically feel they have made it in life due to their skin tone. When this happens, they gain an added rise in ego, self-praise, and shamelessness resulting in them belittling those that they feel are inferior to them through physical and emotional bullying and degradation.

They feel it is their place to pick the more attractive garment since it will flatter them more. The more attractive men approach them and their friends is their birthright. They can even go to the extent of thinking they cannot do belittling works or chores despite their financial status.

3. Colorism Narrows Beauty and Societal Standards

When the measure of attractiveness is continually narrowed down by the day until it comes down to the level of melanin one possesses, the standard of beauty diminishes, and unrealistic societal standards are set. This affects other factors including class, intelligence nobility, and even hygiene.

In a glimpse, a light-skinned person is by default expected to possess more class, intelligence, and nobility than a dark-skinned one. Children of the rich are expected to be fairer than those of the poor to reflect their luxurious lifestyle and proper hygiene. A recently married woman is expected to grow lighter in complexion and the white races have been officially stamped to be more intelligent than black people.

In short, people feel they need to be fair to be beautiful, or else they also lose some of their societal respect and perception.

4. Collapse in Self-esteem Is One of The Effects of Colorism

One of the effects of colorism is, it reduces self-esteem. When a person grows up feeling rejected or treated differently by his/her family, peers, and society in general due to his/her skin colour, that person may fall into self-hatred and feel ashamed of his/her appearance. This mostly happens when the person does not understand the true origin of colourism and fight against its effects. 

Also without having people accept him/her for who they are, depression kicks as they begin to feel discomfort in their own skin. For a woman, constantly having her fair friend admired and picked over her by her crushes due to narrowed beauty standards makes her feel ugly and unattractive.

This may lead to her having a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.

5. Encourages Production of Harmful Skin Bleaching Products

If everyone feels beautiful and is comfortable in their own skin despite their skin tone, then cancer and other skin ailments will go a long way in being reduced worldwide. On a global scale, some skincare products are made up of bleaching products, many of which are harmful as you use them or later in life when you stop.

Although, it is a choice to bleach. When people refuse to genuinely see and feel beauty in all skin tones, many lose self-confidence and are cajoled to begin bleaching their skins. A woman who feels her marriage is dependent on her skin colour will not hesitate to bleach as she has seen her peers do it successfully and feel she is doing it for a greater cause.

As Nigeria continues to boast a worrying amount of bleaching experts with famed male crossdresser “Bobrisky” as one of them, they are cashing in on the desperation of people especially women to acquire a lighter skin tone. 

6. Colorism Promotes Discrimination in Work Places

Another effect of colorism is that it promotes discrimination in the workplace. People especially women seeking job opportunities have suffered the effects of colorism. This is especially true of jobs where part of customer patronage may depend on their attraction to people offering them services.

Because of colourism, potential air hostesses, waitresses, hotel room service, models, bank tellers, product adverts, and many more have been dismissed and disqualified for the job as their less attractive dark skin is less preferred to satisfy customer’s aesthetic satisfaction. Their other qualifications may come second in their Employer’s requirements.

This is also true in Nigerian Movie Industry popularly known as “Nollywood”,

7. It Reduces Moral Values Among Women

Just like how many students throw away a handout once they are done with a course, many women feel they have gotten their life distinction because of their skin tone. They ignore other personal and moral values especially regarding themselves, relationships with people, and marriage.

For a woman who lacks a stern upbringing, this is an opportunity for her to throw her manual out the window. Don’t completely blame her though, society has already given her a life certificate. As a saying goes in Northern Nigeria:

Farar mace ko mayya ce

Unknown

This is commonly said by men who have a desire to wed a fair woman. The phrase literally means “A fair woman even if she is a witch” which means that they don’t mind any kind of woman so long she is light-skinned.

While darker women strive to be personally, educationally, and morally upright, the societally right egoistic ones fall deep into the pit of shame and illiteracy. 

8. Enhances Divorce Rate Among Men

This is also one of the numerous effects of colorism. Of course, when you marry a woman solely for your attraction to her skin colour while throwing other values out the window, you yourself are bound to be valueless. As such, any small mishap in your relationship or marriage may lead you to send her back home. From there, you either become aware or move to the next bus stop of alighting fair women.

Women of lighter skin should beware of such kinds of men as they only care about themselves. No! More preferably, light-skinned women should have other values that will help them throughout their lives and give them a compass.

9. Colorism Promotes Prostitution

Even in the prostitution industry, perceived beauty values make light-skinned women have higher market value than light-skinned ones. This is a call for desperate light-skinned women out there to join the industry as an easy way out. Also, those already in the business strive to bleach and increase their market worth. So-called friends wanting to initiate others could be heard easily advising their friends and saying:

…After all, you are fair and men like fair women, this industry is meant for people like you.

Ask for my advice and I will tell you even if you are fair, look for another job and keep your dignity.

10. Lastly, Colorism Promotes Racism

Racism has already eaten us to the buds. Colourism is serving as a catalyst. When we don’t accept and embrace our skin tones, nobody will. No one will feel threatened or intimidated to discriminate against our race if we ourselves don’t embrace and protect it fiercely.

Conclusion

Now looking at these ten troubling effects of colorism, this goes to everyone involved in the rising pandemic.

Look at your hands and try picturing all your fingers becoming equal. Next, imagine which one would be most useful. If you can’t give yourself an answer, then simply know that everything was created differently to serve a unique purpose. Are all your teeth exactly similar or is everyone you know rich? What if everyone became a doctor or all the people you know are lawyers. Crazy right? So why should everyone be of the same colour?

In uniqueness lies in beauty and beauty lies acceptance. Accept who you are and imagine everyone else as a finger or a tooth that needs to be different and accept them too.

This Is The Right Way to Protect Your Children from Pedophiles

This Is The Right Way to Protect Your Children from Pedophiles

Did I just hear you say sexually molesting a helpless child/baby is a mental disorder? Does that mean that very soon, child sexual offenders will happily roam the streets free, after being fully acquitted from a non-guilty plea, on the cushioned grounds of insanity?

No, I don’t want to believe that our world today is agreeing with this gruesome misconduct and grievous rebellion against the laws of nature. After being termed with a ‘fancy name’ to legitimize its birth, “Paedophilia” went further to being baptized as a ‘Psychiatric disorder’; subconsciously assisting its so-called sufferers to get away with their acts.

Whatever complicated theory the world may choose to weave about ‘Paedophilia” today, the simple fact is, we need to reject this mental slavery the second it lands on our runway; starting from protecting our children from these walking monsters.

What Is Paedophilia?

Before we can protect our children from paedophiles, we need to first and foremost understand what it is, its extent, and its limits. Therefore, we will look at its basic history/evolution, definition, and signs of a paedophile/paedophilia.

History/Evolution of Paedophilia

Formally recognised and named in the late 19th century, the term ‘Paedophilia’ comes from Greek words; ‘Paidos’ and ‘Philia’, meaning ‘Child’ and ‘Friendship/friendly love’ respectively.

This term was used to describe sexual interest in mostly male adults, to feel sexual urges or engage in sexual acts in prepubescent children; that is children who have not attained puberty.

However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders replaced the term ‘Paedophilia’ with ‘Paedophilic Disorder’ arguing that a paedophilic desire, practice, or behaviour in itself does not constitute a mental illness and that it is only a disorder when it is mentally or socially affects the concerned individual and also exerts harm to unwilling persons or victims.

Warning Signs of a Paedophile

There are no outward signs of a paedophile. In fact, they look and act very normal just like you and me. The only difference is that they are sexually attracted to children and you are not.

However, below are ten warning signs you should look out for in a paedophile; gathered from their criminal profiles and psychological studies. Remember, they do not make one automatically a paedophile, but should be enough to make you as a guardian be cautious:

  • He is a victim of molestation before himself
  • He is most times someone close to you; a relative, friend, co-worker, neighbour, and so on.
  • He is always around children or has work related to children.
  • His environment is decorated in childlike décor that will appeal to the age and sex of the child he desires and not scare them away.
  • He is very patient. He spends time as much as possible with your child, constantly giving them gifts, prolonged hugs, and attention. In other words, he grooms both you and the child to trust him.
  • He watches or masturbates to child pornography.
  • He talks to or treats children like adults.
  • Also, he is mostly friends with single mothers or women who lack sufficient male support in their lives.
  • He has an impeccable reputation and good manners or a mental illness such as a mood or personality disorder.
  • He is always on online platforms popular among young adolescents.

How to Protect Your Child from Paedophiles

We have understood the concept of paedophilia and looked into the warning signs of a potential paedophile. Now this will help us in delving head-on into ways we can protect our children from falling victims to their traps. Ways you can protect your child from a paedophile include: 

1. Educate Yourself about Them

You need to be aware of the traits and behaviours of a paedophile before you can be able to protect your child. Most criminals like rapists, armed robbers, serial murderers have similar patterns of behaviour and regularly devise new ways of achieving their aims.

Arm yourself with regular updates about the latest trends in use by these sexual predators so that you will not be taken by surprise. 

2. Educate Your Child to Keep Private Parts Private

Distinguish appropriate and inappropriate touching for your child. Let him know that there are good touches and there are bad touches. Your child should know that a high five or a pat on the back is different from a butt squeeze or a kiss on the lips or tongue.

Also, do not stigmatise teaching your child from an early age about the concept of private parts. Let your children understand that certain places in their bodies are not for the public. Go further to protect those places for them from view from people when bathing or dressing them up. This includes family members also.

In addition, constantly remind them by saying things like; “Listen to me sweetheart, do not allow anyone to see or touch you here and here. Whoever asks you to show or touch it, run straight to me and tell me”.

This will keep your child alert and inform them that there is something wrong when someone tries to see or touch their privates.

3. Teach Your Child to Not Talk to Strangers or Follow Them to Places

Paedophiles usually observe a child they are interested in and work tirelessly to isolate them from their peers. They appear where they usually play and talk to them until they become a familiar face even if the child doesn’t know them. When they establish familiarity, they lure them to isolated places, have their way, and later disappear without a trace.

Discourage your child as much as possible to feel at home with strangers. 

4. Teach Your Child to Inform You about Gifts

One of the popular ways paedophiles get to children is by giving them gifts. Generally, discourage your child from accepting gifts all the time. “I will give you a packet of sweets if you let me see or touch you in this place” is an example of phrases a paedophile uses. For the average child, this feels like a relatively fair deal if they don’t know that these are not things to bargain with.

Also, whenever someone presents your child with a gift, encourage them to first show you before accepting or consuming it. If you notice any abnormal way in the gifts or manner which they are given, ask your child questions like “Did he ask you to give him a gift in return?” Questions like this will help you understand the true intentions of the giver.

5. Supervise Your Child Regularly

Whether your child is alone or not, engaged in a playful activity or another; make sure you regularly show up in places where your child spends long hours on their own or with other people. Be positive that there are no short or long-term disappearances from where your child is engaged in an activity.

If left with a friend, family member, co-worker, or nanny, take breaks from work or what you are doing to check up on them regularly through phone calls or visits. 

6. Do Not Leave Your Children Alone At Public Places

At a birthday party, wedding, or shopping mall, keep your eye on your child at all times. Sexual molesters use these gatherings to snatch children away and force them. Also, watch out for onlookers who are always present at children’s gatherings without having an actual reason to be there.

Also, refuse to send children to open doors when the door rings or send them on errands where they have to pass secluded places. These sexual predators are everywhere waiting for the perfect opportunity to snatch your child.

7. Be Your Child’s Friend

Build an environment that is emotionally conducive for your child. Listen to their concerns and do not make them feel judged or ashamed. Remember, child molesters often use threats to keep your child quiet about the atrocities they constantly do to them.

Your children can only overcome that threat or fear instilled in them if they feel you can protect their interests after they disclose their secrets to you. Typically, child molesters target children who do not get much attention from their parents and act only after gaining their trust and friendship.

Be friends with your child; share your own thoughts and feelings, have open and honest conversations and they will never feel threatened or afraid to tell you their secrets.

8. Notice When Your Child Is Acting Differently

Is your child behaving in a withdrawn manner around a certain person or cringes when you brush past their privates during bath time? Try to know your children’s regular pattern of behaviour and watch out for any changes. Do not ignore them.

Constantly ask your children how their day was at school, how the outing with an adult went, or why they are not playing with their friends. “Did you fall and hurt your buttocks?” Asking these questions regularly will keep the lines of communication open to bring up any answers to such matters.

9. Trust Your Child’s Instincts

Do not dismiss your child’s claims about not wanting to be around someone simply because you feel that someone is too virtuous. Children have the best instincts and if they do not feel comfortable around someone, do not force them. 

10. Monitor Your Child’s Internet Activity

Children at a very young age these days are allowed to handle and operate gadgets. Alas, this has proven a favourable decision for paedophiles online who stalk social platforms and chatrooms popular among children; sending them pictures to entice them before finally luring them into an open meeting.

As a guardian, establish internet rules; regularly monitor your children’s online activity by asking them about people they meet and by checking it out on your own.

Conclusion

We must do our best to protect our children from harm at all costs. Say again that molesting a helpless child/baby is a ‘mental disorder’ and we will echo in unison the death of those who deservingly need to be punished for their acts. 

Sexually molesting a child is a crime against mother nature. They wish to speak up for the rights of mental health of people that engage in these gruesome acts – acts of sexually molesting children including babies of only three weeks old. Meanwhile;

Who is standing up for the mental health rights of children sexually molested every day?

Why Northern Nigeria Needs to Stop The Practice of Girl Child Marriage

Why Northern Nigeria Needs to Stop The Practice of Girl Child Marriage

Over 12 million girls are married out before the age of 18 according to UNICEF statistics. Child marriage is being practised across countries, cultures and regions. We have to stop stealing adolescence from our young girls. Northern Nigeria is one among many other African countries that practised child marriage, which has constituted a large number of girls marking an end to their childhood and any possibility of personal growth and development.

However, several N.G.Os have sprung up in the last decade to fight against this problem and come up with a possible solution to abolish this drawback.

Factors Leading to Child Marriage

Poverty, Cultural, traditional and religious factors are among the many factors that contribute gravely to the high number of child marriages in our society. Broken homes and economic crises are also basic factors that can’t be disregarded.

Child marriage in northern Nigeria is most prevalently practised in the rural, underdeveloped and poor communities, where women are seen as a means to an end. The devastating economic hardship in Nigeria is a major contributing factor to making the nation being ranked as the 11th highest contributor to the rise in child marriage in the world with an estimated 42% of girls married before age 18, which is considered child marriage.

Effects of Girl Child Marriage

Early child marriages anywhere in the world stand to intervene on the health, psychological well-being and formal education, as most of them abandon education and skills to focus on raising children and building a home. This is common with many ethnical groups in the country. But it’s predominantly common in the Northern part of this country.

Girls are forced to become the three most difficult things Woman, Adults and Mothers. The tradition is driven by poverty just to reinforce social ties in other to create financial stabilities for the benefactor families and improve their social status.

Jamila, a young girl I met and spoke to at Giwa local government of Kaduna State always wanted to be a nurse. The entire concept of science fascinates her. She told me she wanted to be a nurse for so many reasons as her mum battles severe back pain with a long medical history. All that faded as she explained how her father arranged her for marriage immediately after she got to SS2 ( Senior Secondary School.) She also explains how she went through miscarriage twice and struggles with physical and mental illness.

Little or zero health care is being provided while they’re exposed to many risks like depression, cervical cancer, malaria, fistula, and other forms of diseases follows.

Early pregnancy makes girls more predisposed to the risk of losing their life, increases in premature labour and this has given rise to high maternal death. They also have many medical complications such as. Vesico-Vagina Fistula ( VVF) And rectum vagina fistula (RVF).

What We Should Be Doing

Female child education reduces chances of infant mortality, promotes health, improves and raises economic productivity cohorts, enhances political participation and prepares the ground for educating the next generation.

In ending child marriages, we must consider accelerating our efforts to help change the lives of girls and young women by understanding the complex drivers behind the practice in a different context, identifying the variables that hinder their growth in society and implementing all necessary assistance the society needs to develop and enhance the social-political wellbeing of women and female child.

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