ARTICLE WRITTEN BY PENIEL FEATURED ON THE GUARDIAN NG - Africans Are Full Of Aesthetics
Artist: Peniel Okwuchukwu
July 14, 2021 12:14 AM
PENIEL’S ARTICLE FEATURED ON GUARDIAN NG; Africans Are Full Of Aesthetics - the danger of a stereotype One thing that has become imperative when amplifying the beauty that is the African culture is that the narrator does well to make the distinction between Africans as a people with a strong sense of aesthetics, and Africans as a form of artwork themselves.…And then there is the second failure- In a bid to compensate for the earlier wrong, the media has tried to focus on the artistry and cultural dynamics of the African people but is now portraying a romanticised image of Africans as being simple-minded beings whose only inclinations are in arts, culture, and aesthetics, and whose sense of wholesomeness can be got solely from creative expressions, even if everything else is going wrong.This is simply not true.This overly artistic image of Africa as an alternative to the depleted image of Africa is still in itself a stereotype, and we as Africans should not accept this oversimplified version of ourselves. It is condescending to think that all that Africans are capable of is only creative expression...This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu and was first published on the Guardian NG , July 2021 Sunday Magazine. To read the full article, visit Africans Are Full Of Aesthetics: The Danger Of A Stereotype | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News — Guardian Life — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY PENIEL FEATURED ON THE GUARDIAN NG -How Creative Arts Shapes Society
Artist: Peniel Okwuchukwu
July 14, 2021 12:08 AM
PENIEL’S ARTICLE FEATURED ON GUARDIAN NG; How Creative Arts Shapes Society “A society that forgets art risks losing its soul”- Camille PaglWhen art travels beyond the realm of expression and into the realm of imposition, only then is its power unravelled. Art is art when it expresses, but art becomes power when it influences.Creative Art can be likened to a master manipulator, the type that gives the illusion of choice and freedom by asking the instruction as a question. But then that is the beauty of arts, the fact that it magnanimously projects its power unto its consumer and allows them to call it theirs.For instance, the young man trying to give his lover a romantic evening while Okay by Adekunle Gold plays in the background. The young man would feel proud as he watches her overcome by emotions, would even pat himself on the back for being so romantic. All this while, Adekunle Gold’s song would continue to play dutifully, not complaining about the misplaced credit, but allowing the man to take the glory for being the romance expert. What did the lover do apart from press play while blandly muttering...This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu and was first published on The Guardian NG, November 2020 Sunday Magazine. To read the full article, visit How Creative Arts Shapes Society — Guardian Life — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
ELIEL DECOR LIVE AT IMO STATE GOVERNMENT PRAYER SUMMIT
July 02, 2021 10:00 AM
Eliel Decor Events Management -the decoration and events management subsidiary of Truth Zombie Concept was on the 2nd of July live at Owerri Imo State, where it executed the decoration and aesthetic coordination of the event upon request by the Government of Imo State. The nondenominational Prayer Summit which was held at Heroes Square Owerri, had in attendance people across the State and party lines. Some notable persons in attendance were His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodinma; Governor of Imo State, and Her Excellency Barr Mrs. Chioma Uzodinma; Wife to the Governor of Imo State. Others were the Deputy Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, the APC State Chairman, the Imo State Chief Judge, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, amongst others. The decoration that Eliel Decor executed was passionately appreciated and commended by the attendees and as is the signature of all Truth Zombie products and services, Eliel Decor delivered beyond expectations. Remember to contract Eliel Decor for the overall management and decoration of your events. We offer beauty while taking the stress off you!
Whispered Screams the novel, was officially launched on the 27th of January 2019, and has since gone on to receive massive reception and positive reviews. Authored by Peniel Okwuchukwu and sponsored by Truth Zombie Concept, Whispered Screams is a thought-provoking story on sexual assault and a child’s journey to freedom. Here are some of the reviews it has gotten: The beauty of this work is in the nuances it paints. Whispered Screams is refreshingly different, it is one strong voice that will keep echoing long after you are done reading. JIDE BADMUSAuthor of There Is A Storm In My Head & Paper Planes In The Rain You would read this book and wish it never ends. With its compelling storyline properly embedded in talented writing, Peniel makes sure this is inevitable. DR (MRS) IRENE CHIMAPrincipal Secretary To The Governor Of Imo State This is a game changer! An Award-winning masterpiece!Peniel’s dexterity with words and mastery of the art of storytelling is one not only rare, but nearly extinct. This book is everything and more. DEBORAH FUNBUNWHE Author of I Died On A Friday & Founder of Daughters Of The Altar This book is highly recommended not only to teenagers and youths, but also to all parents. It will also be of immerse benefit to schools as literature, and for guiding and counselling.RT HON ALWELL ASIFORO OKERE (Ph.D)PDP State Chairman, Abia State Chapter. Peniel Okwuchukwu touched my heart in two ways through this novel; first as a young adult writer, second as a male writing a novel on rape and sexual abuse. These are remarkable feats we mustn’t take for granted given the extent of decadence amongst our youth today and then the poor socialisation of boys which results in unhealthy expressions of masculinity. Whispered Screams unearths one of the family’s darkest secrets, paternal dysfunctions and our society’s failings. An interesting read indeed! KINGSLEY OBOM-EGBULEM Author, Teens Mentor, Radio Talk Show Host and Head, Junior Church, Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos Peniel Okwuchukwu has done a great job by opening the space for us to discuss one of our most kept secrets. As someone who endured sexual abuse for years, I understand what it means to lack the courage to scream let alone the strength to whisper. This book resonates with me, and I can only hope every person going through sexual abuse gets to read it and find the courage to open up and find help.ANTHONIA OJENAGBONEntrepreneur, Child Protection Advocate, Anti-rape Activist. Every character in this book is a daunting reflection of its readers and the society. Whispered Screams is a rare book that creatively dares to scream out loud the topics that have been silenced far too long. If your mind has never been on that astral plane, read this book. It is AWE-MAZING!MARTHA OMODUNNIWriter, Social Justice Advocate, Political PunditTo order for a hardcopy, send an SMS to 08078005551. Nationwide delivery available Whispered Screams is also available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle and Okadabooks
PENIEL MEETS WITH THE SPEAKER OF THE OYO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
Artist: Peniel Okwuchukwu
March 25, 2021 11:12 PM
The Founder and CEO of Truth Zombie Concepts, Peniel Okwuchukwu, was part of a youth delegate group that paid a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin. The honourable speaker who is remarkably the youngest speaker of any state assembly in Nigeria being in his early thirties, admonished the youth delegates to be passionately involved in nation building and good governance, especially now that they are young. The speaker registered the agitation of Nigerian youths who believe that they are being deliberately excluded from the political sphere by older politicians who want to continue to remain in power. In response to this, the speaker expressed his sympathy for their plight and then counselled the youths to combat the situation by employing adequate planning and strategizing, in order to successfully insert themselves into the political system. He noted that the reins of the nation’s government would not be handed to them if they do not contend for it despite whatever odds. The speaker then went ahead to pledge his active support to enabling more young people get involved with nation building and governance in Nigeria.The meeting with the speaker was highly inspiring to Peniel and other delegates, as they remarked that it is important for the youths to have a beacon of inspiration and to see first-hand through people like Honourable Ogundoyin, that it is possible for young Nigerians to make significant contribution to nation building while still in their youth. Peniel commended the Honourable Speaker’s decision to always be accessible to young people instead of carrying himself with the typical pomp akin to many Nigerian politicians and elites. He said that these virtues proved that the speaker is a man of esteemed character.
OUR HANDS ART EXHIBTION - A TRUTH ZOMBIE SPONSORED EVENT
December 13, 2020 11:44 AM
Our Hands Art Exhibition was an art exhibition event that was hosted at Discova Art Centre, Rumuola Port Harcourt. The art exhibition which was organized by Our Hands Nigeria and sponsored by Truth Zombie Concept amongst other art brands, was a massive success. The event witnessed the exhibition of so many aesthetic art works, ranging from hand painted works, to photographed images and even handmade crafts, pottery, woodcraft, amongst a number of others. The door opened at 12 noon, and stayed open till way into the evening, with numerous guests and buyers in attendance. There was refreshment, music, and lots of networking and interacting. The participating artists were connected with art lovers and buyers, and future prospective clients. Overall, it was a very pleasing and rewarding event
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that significantly affected HIAC’s plan for the year, the foundation was still able to carry out a handful of rewarding activities to the benefit of the children. In the middle of the year, HIAC took the children in dance classes where they were taught new dance steps for the fun of it as well as to boost their mental health through physical endeavours and interaction. HIAC also took part in the planning of a fundraiser/album release party for one of its beneficiary orphanage home, where the children had recorded music as a worthwhile activity during the pandemic. HIAC also visited one of its beneficiary homes mid year with sandwich refreshment and entertained the children briefly with music and general interaction and games. In December, HIAC organized a movie night and an end of year party. On a Friday night, HIAC brought and mounted the facilities - projectors, speakers, etc at one of its beneficiary orphanage home and gave the children a proper cinema experience as they were treated to movies with popcorn and drinks. The following Saturday, a proper end of year activity was organized. There were personal presentations, drama and dance performances, spelling competitions, music and dance competitions, face painting, and the children were given gifts. Foods and drinks was also in abundance - fruit punch, fruit salad, waffle dogs, ice cream, small chops. cakes, rice and chicken, and as usual their buddy Santa Claus made sure to pay them a visit with amazing toys and presents.
HIAC, which is the foundation and the charity arm of Truth Zombie Concept once again embarked on a successful charity outreach. The 2019 charity outreach of Happiness Is A Colour which took place December 2019 and was themed "Children are not Colour Blind 2.0" was successful. The charity outreach ran for a week and it included a host of activities. It kicked off with a food drive, where over 500 children on the streets of Port Harcourt were fed and handed out food packs and drinks amidst good cheer. HIAC then embarked on an environmental makeover of the home of one of its beneficiary orphanages. The environment was cleaned up, the house repainted and children cartoons were drawn on the walls to the delight of the children. HIAC also fixed the electrical and plumbing issues in the home. HIAC also took on a library initiative where a library space was created and a library put up and properly stocked with children book and other educative and learning materials for the children. The series of programs culminated on a Saturday, when HIAC threw an end of the year party for the children at one of its beneficiary orphanage homes. There were fun filled activities such as face painting, drawing competitions, music and dance competitions, karaoke, individual presentations etc. There was a variety of food and snacks such as ice cream, waffle dogs, fruit salad, cakes, and even Father Christmas was present to be part of the fun!!
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu A friend of mine texted me a while back.She in recent times had added weight, and although I think it looks really good on her, that is beside the point.She sent me a screenshot of a conversation she was having with someone, or to put it in more correct context – an unsolicited advice she was getting from someone, about her weight.The speaker urged her to lose “the extra weight” before she gets back to school, because it doesn’t look good on her and whatnot. The speaker was rude and invasive.She showed me the conversation and asked me if she was supposed to find what the speaker had said offensive. She wanted a sincere answer from me. Her question was frank. She wanted to know the right way to feel about what had just been said to her. She wanted to know what was expected of her in that situation, if it was okay to be upset or not. She, who had just taken the jab of someone’s bellicose comment, was indirectly enquiring from me what the generally accepted reaction was, so that hers could fit in.It bothered me because I understood where her concern stemmed from. It stemmed from a societally induced consciousness that what matters the most in many situations, is what the victim did to warrant being victimized, and not necessarily what was done to the victim. Of even greater importance to the society most times, is how the victim reacts after an abuse has been meted out, and not necessarily the injustice that was meted out to the victim. It is as if there is a code of conduct that all victims must abide by in order not to inconvenience the rest of humanity with their plight of abuse There is need to also understand that although what she asked was if she should be upset by the action; her question in essence was if it was okay that she was already feeling an existing hurt.In my own understanding, her contemplating if to be upset, was actually her processing a subtle smidgen of hurt within, and wondering if to acknowledge, nurture and give expression to it, or if to push it away.So I responded, trying to guide her to the truth of her current feelings. I told her that the important question wasn’t if she should be hurt, but if she was hurt.She tried to reply by analysing her feelings, a bit rather evasively: “well I don’t know…I feel he was rude with how he said it, but at the same time he is expressing his opinion so I don’t know if I should find that offensive...I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know…”I had to cut her short again and explain to her that the question needed a direct yes or no answer and that she should confront her feelings and give me a response “Do you feel hurt by what he said?”And she said yes.“So it’s simple then. Go ahead and tell him that you don’t like what he said, and that it upsets you, and that he shouldn’t say something like that to you again. What matters the most is how you feel, and not how you should feel, at least in this situation.”End of conversation.But isn’t it worrying? How we shift the responsibility of the consequences of ones negative actions from the person who committed the actions, and try to place the responsibility on the victim who was merely unfortunate to be on the receiving side.In another recent past in a community that I belong to, a Ponzi scheme erupted and it swept across rather quickly. As is expected of Ponzi schemes, people began to lose their money at some point. As the issue continued to unravel, the majority of responders became more focused on making the people that had fallen victim to the scheme the centre of scrutiny, rather than focusing on the wrongness of a Ponzi scheme in the first place and spelling out consequences for the person who had dubiously orchestrated it. They were more preoccupied with why the victims were so gullible, than with why someone would deliberately start a Ponzi scheme, knowing the they were going to deliberately rip people off their money. It was ludicrous how hardly anybody questioned the intent of the person who started the scheme.We hide the perpetuators of vices most times, and put their victims on display, thereby creating an enabling society for crime to fester because there is little or no consequences. This is a total misplacement of priorities, and a wrongful channelling of our energy as a society.One thing I’ve come to know that victim blaming does is that it protects evil. It shifts the light away from the evil and the evil doer, and casts the full beam on the victim. This is most ironic considering that darkness is simply the absence of light.Maybe this collective attitude of ours is as a result of years of travail in the hands of malefactors, that we have resorted to self-preservation and self-protection as the only protection. What better way to ensure our safety than by forcing everybody to continually look within themselves whenever they’re dealt badly, so that they can make adjustments that would prevent a reoccurrence. Inasmuch as I understand the place and importance of self-preservation, it is imperative to understand that self-preservation isn’t even living; self-preservation is merely surviving. Self-preservation and all the ways that we manifest it only ensures that we keep dodging bullets in order to stay alive, while overlooking the fact that we could just take the bloody gun off the hands of the assailant pulling the trigger.What is argued that victim blaming achieves, is that in pointing out what the victim did wrongly, it highlights what the victim needs to do differently in order to avoid reliving such unfortunate experience.At the end of the day however, evil is fluid, evil has many faces, evil comes in many forms, and we can only know so much on how to prevent evil from befalling us if we decide to always be on the defensive.Instead of playing hide and seek with this many faced entity of evil, we should redirect our energy into quelling its vigour, by identifying and crushing it whenever and wherever it manifests. It is time we channel all the efforts we put into fortifying ourselves against the reach of malefactors, into reaching out to them ourselves and exterminating them, one after the other. “Man up and develop a tough skin so their actions won’t hurt you anymore…”“Stop falling for men and their tricks. Love less and hate them; that’s the only way protect your heart”“Stop letting your peers’ hurtful jokes get to you; look at it as a joke too if not you will be miserable“Next time do not wear that skimpy dress, so nobody rapes you again…”And while we make excuses for the culprits and put all the blame on ourselves, the very nature of their perversity would ensure that their darkness keeps thriving and blossoming until it overshadows us again, and again, because we choose to keep ignoring it.How is your day going people? Thank you for reading!This is totally unrelated, but do you know ‘Mask Off’ by Future is actually a sample of the original song ‘Prison Song’ by Tommy Butler released in 1976I actually find it distasteful that a song that paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr and addressed slavery and black liberation, was remade into a song romanticising the use of hard drugs.But anyways, do have a beautiful day!This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu for Truth Zombie Blog You can connect with the author via mail: Penielokwuchukwu@gmail.com Also connect with Truth Zombie on social media for more exclusive content truthzombie on IGTruth Zombie on FB Read More
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu Dear Papa,The sun is gradually setting, and on this evening I can faintly hear your voice being carried in the wind of the dusk as you sing out loud and dramatically; “row, row, row your boat…”I know all of this is in my head as you’re dead and have been dead for a long time now, but the memories of your drunken voice even years later still warm me up and cause tears to gradually etch down my face.Papa, I miss you.Everybody thought I was stupid when I didn’t distance myself from you even as your alcoholism worsened and you were barely ever sober. I defied every psychological theory that expected me to be traumatised by your new drinking habit and the fact that you distanced yourself from everybody and became the laughing stock of the village. Maybe it was because of those precious moments I was the only one that witnessed; those moments in the morning when you sobered up and woke to find me sitting by the door, partially asleep.Those moments when you would moan in pain from the hangover that weighed on you, look at the empty bottle of dry gin by your side and then curse it as tears welled up in your eyes. Then you would gradually turn to look at me, and then begin to frantically lament about how you hated what you were, and how you loved me and mama. I believed you papa, I always saw the pain in your eyes and they were too sincere to accommodate a lie. The way they moistened and glistened with sadness, as you would lament on how desperately you wanted to stop drinking. Your habit didn’t wound anybody more than it did to you. It was during those times that I would cry too and hug you, enduring the repulsive smell of liquor and mouth odour.Afterwards, you would beg me to sing for you.You were the first person who thought I could do something with my voice.While everybody seemed to know you only for your intimacy with the bottle, I knew you for the muscular arm you wrapped around me, and for the presents of smoked fish and oil you used to buy for me. That was before you changed.The day you died changed me; I was the first person to see your dead body sprawled helplessly on the floor in your hut, and what pained me most was the fact that I had chosen for the first time in a long while, to sleep with mama in the other hut instead of with you. Perhaps if I had been with you, I would have been able to confront death on your behalf when it came in the middle of the night to take you away.Everybody said it was the gods who punished you for neglecting your family and being irresponsible.I’m enlightened enough now to know that it was alcohol poisoning. Alcohol was your god. Papa, do you know what happened after you left me? Mama mourned your death as was tradition, though I sensed that she didn’t miss you at all. When the period of mourning was over, mama began to see uncle Maduibike the idol carver.I used to lay awake at night while pretending to be asleep when I would hear him come into the room as mama giggled. Afterwards in the dark, I would hear squeals from mama, and moans from him as they would vibrate beside me, shaking roughly from whatever they did.I hated those moments, but the moments I hated the most were the ones that usually followed, when for some reasons, they would argue and suddenly uncle would strike mama with the same energy that you used to strike firewood. Those were the points I usually snapped out of fear.No longer able to pretend to be asleep, I would burst into loud sobs and uncle would complete his mission with one or two slaps on my cheeks before he would strut out of the room, leaving me and mama wailing.Mama never comforted me after this; she would scream at me, telling me that all of this was my fault and yours. She would claim that uncle refused to marry her because she had me, and he didn’t want extra responsibility. She would then wish she had met him before she met you. I used to wish she had never met him, that she had enough confidence in herself to pick a man worthy of her. I stopped when I realized it meant that she would never have picked you too.Papa, do you remember the thing I told you that uncle Madubuike used to do to mama at night? One day he did the same thing to me. He moaned the same way, and I felt the urge to squeal just like mama did; the pain I felt between my legs was unbearable.That night, uncle came around and when he and mama were done, they quarrelled as usual, but this time he didn’t beat her. Instead he lurched at me and spun me around from my fake sleeping position, and before I could gather enough momentum to cry or scream, he pulled my wrapper up, and pushed a part of himself into me, wounding me from within.. Mama only sat by the corner and cried.When he was done, he pushed himself up and went to Mama’s side, and after some dialogue that I didn’t hear, they hugged. I hated mama. The next day I turned fifteen.I ran away from the village when uncle did it again three more times, and I ended up in Owerri. You remember Owerri? The place you told me that everybody that left the village went to and became rich easily. It wasn’t easy o, Papa. I begged and sang to make money to eat, and it was two years later, while I was begging and giving up on life simultaneously that this man came and told me that I could use my voice to become rich. Let me not bore you with too much details Papa so that you can go back to resting with the ancestors. This man, uncle Richie, took me in and enrolled me for a music competition.While I lived with him, he came to my room at night and did the same thing that Uncle Maduibike did, but I did not stop him. Things never felt the same after uncle Maduibike, so what was the point? Besides this time I felt it was my little way of repaying this kind man for giving me hope.Papa, I won the competition. I got a scholarship to further my education, a car, a house, and a monthly payment as well as a record deal for when I turned eighteen the next year. Uncle Richie said he was proud of me, but I would have to give him something before he let me go, and so I gave him the car, and a lot of the money I won.That was a while agoI’m a big girl now Papa, I’m twenty two now, and doing well in music. You might not be having any grandchildren though, I do not like men. But I have money; would that be okay for you? This is not even the real story that made me wake you up from your sleep; guess what happened yesterday Papa?I was coming back from a performance and was heading home with my manager when I saw the site of a ghastly motor accident. A taxi had collided with a trailer, and because it was in the middle of the night, very few people were still on the streets and those who drove by refused to stop because of fear of criminals looming around.I knew I had to be humane and help them, so I told my driver to pull over, and together with my manager, the three of us ran over to the other side of the road to help.Papa, guess who the taxi driver in the taxi was?A very old uncle Maduibike. I’ve dropped him at the hospital and have paid for his hospital bills. I am scared to ask him about Mama’s whereabouts, I don’t think I will ever.Sigh,I miss you Papa, I love you. Read More
WHY I WOULD NOT BE IN A HURRY TO SEND MY KIDS TO SCHOOL; would I even send them to school?
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu If I do have kids in future, my kids after completing their secondary/high school education would have to spend one year (or more) at home before proceeding to pursue higher education through whatever means they decide is best for them in their pursuit of knowledge.It mustn’t even be a University – frankly I don’t care what institution of knowledge they submit themselves to, so long as they are acquiring tangible information and developing their God given skills. The goal would be the acquisition of knowledge, not the acquisition of a degree.Spending at least a year at home would not be optional. This would be a necessary part of their growth process, and they would grow up understanding the importance of this break so that when time comes, they would happily welcome it, understanding its purpose and what it would accomplish for themThat one year would be a necessary part of their mental formation because during that period, they would be compelled to take a break from the society to figure out what exactly they want for themselves and understand how they want to go about it.The goal would be to withdraw them from as many institutionalized social systems as possible, so that they can be able to listen to their innermost yearnings without all the external opinionated voices screaming in their ears. While they are ‘on the mountain’, they would be provided with objective knowledge and general information that would aid them in their decision making.Of course a year or two is not enough time to totally have the rest of your life figured out, but it is enough time for one to get to understand the basics in order to build the foundation that every other choice would subsequently be based onMy own experience when I left high school, coupled with a lot of other people’s experiences that I’ve read and heard about, is what has influenced this decision of mine.I graduated high school in 2015, and spent a year at home after not getting admission to the university. I eventually got into school in 2016.Back then, that year was hell for me because everything and almost everyone reminded me that my mates had gotten into school while I hadn’t, and I felt miserable because of it. But now I look back at that period, I’ve come to realize that it was the best year of my life so far, despite all of its painThat year was when I was pushed into discovering what exactly I wanted to do with the rest of my life because of circumstances that withdrew me from the society and in that uncomfortable isolation, forced me to listen to my own heart ( because there was nothing else I was doing with my life other than waiting to get into school).This is why I also don’t support the idea of always sending children and teens to learn a skill or get a job as dictated for them whenever they are out of school for vacation. Sometimes what a child needs is enough free time to explore things on their own terms that will aid their path to self-awareness2015/2016 while I was at home, I went kamikaze on writing as a coping mechanism for not being in school yet. I also watched my love for arts grow from the subconscious mind to a place of consciousness that I could hone, and in the midst of all this, I began to understand for the first time what exactly I wanted to do with my love for arts.All of this happened because of that one year break from society I was forced by circumstances to take. Now imagine if I had that year to myself to pursue further self-discovery, but with encouragement and without the simmering negative energy from not yet being in school, which had its own adverse effect on me then.If I am to go back to 2015, I would spend that one year at home again, but this time with a conscious understanding that this break is a necessity and not a mistake. That way I would get the complete best out of that period of sober reflection and isolationYou see, our current society doesn’t give us so much space to figure ourselves out, except we do it through blood and sweat while trying to break out from the general norm and carve our own path. That is if we even get to a point of self-discovery. Many people actually waddle through life doing only whatever their current situation allows them to, without ever discovering purpose and passionFor those of us who have to struggle to carve our own path despite unfavourable societal odds, the battle to do so inadvertently affects our mental health. Even if we eventually succeed, the demanding process of resisting and conforming, struggling and giving up, breaking down and picking ourselves up again wears us out so much that when we finally get there, we are already exhausted and dealing with so many scars meted out to our psyche. This is what I will like to protect my kids from if I eventually am blessed with any.From nursery to primary to secondary to university to NYSC to becoming a working class person, there is no break, no space. It sounds like life in this part of the world is more or less a sprint than a marathon.Further on the issue of self-awareness, it is important to note that Secondary/University level is usually the time teenagers begin to have an idea of who exactly they are meant to be. This is because the age bracket that places a person in Secondary/University level is usually the age bracket that witnesses the mind developing to a stage where it begins to accommodate the thought processes that births a sense of identity.“What do I want to be when I grow up? Who am I? What do I like and dislike? Am I sure I really want to be a pastor or doctor or lawyer like everyone around me keeps telling me I would be?” These are the questions that a teenage mind begins to process at this juncture.Essentially, the formation of identity and a ’desire to become’ starts at this point.But with the way our society is designed, chances are that a teenager who has gotten to this juncture of self-awareness that needs processing (which takes time) would already be in the system doing something that doesn’t reflect their person or passion, because they have been rushed into it.At this point when it becomes apparent that many teenagers are stuck in a system they do not understand, enjoy or appreciate, the next thing society and its soldiers begin to tell these teenagers, is that they just have to see it through even if it’s not what they want and why? Because a lot is at stake – expectations, resources invested into them, and the biggest nemesis all, “Time”The fact that we are extremely conscious and fearful of the progression of time is one of our greatest undoing as a peopleThe way we use time as a defence for this detrimental rush we’re all in is something I’m beginning to find more and more appallingWhile time really does play a vital part of our existence, the place and relevance of time as we now know it has largely been exaggerated.Time is more or less now, a social construct, than an independent entity.And so by the time you’ve conformed and fought your way through the institutions and you think you finally have time to figure yourself out, ‘time’ yet again provides you with responsibilities that are now expected of your age as a young adult. So you conform yet again to foot these responsibilities, but this is usually the last opportunity you get, because from this moment till the end you’re likely going to be saddled with responsibilities and expectations that come with the adult world, thereby leading a reactionary life as opposed to a proactive life.If you become financially successful in the process of living a lie, then you’re even less likely to break through your prison because money answers almost everything except of course the yearnings of your innermost voice which you will desperately try to ignore because chasing it at this point may require you starting from the scratchThis analysis of our toxic relationship with the society can go on and on, but my point is simple: we all need that necessary break from the society to step back and look within ourselves long and hard enough to decide what exactly we want to do with the rest of our life. MY children deserve that, and if I have some in future, I will give them that.Thank you amazing people for reading this piece. You are the reason I write.As usual, here is a completely useless information: I never liked mathematics and I still don’t like math. No. If I want to be sincere, the problem is that I don’t know math, and believe me I’ve tried but I just never get the hang of it and still don’t. I don’t want to embarrass my father on here, but I know I got this deficiency from him. But then as I like to joke with my mother, I don’t believe I need to know math to know how to count money, so I’m all good.*insert all the winking emoji here and all that blogger kind of thing* This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu for Truth Zombie Blog You can reach out to the author via mail: email@example.comConnect with Truth Zombie on social media for more exclusive contenttruthzombie on IGTruth Zombie on FB Read More
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu Love would never be enough and that’s a fact.It is because of this understanding that I don’t buy the message that if he or she really loves you, they will or will not do certain things simply because ’they love you’Someone might love, but still lack the willpower to effect necessary changes to sustain a healthy relationship, despite their love. This is because it isn’t always about love, but beyond.One might love, but have their love overwhelmed by self-indulgences that they were unable to drop in the course of growing.Love in its singleness would never be enough a force to create picture perfect, or to keep things moving in the way that it ought to beTo start with, everybody has a different idea of what love is and isn’t so what exactly then is love?Maybe love isn’t an isolated notion with an independent meaning; maybe the very meaning of love to each person, is woven into and derived from their experiences such that it is these experiences that shape their perception and expression of love which in turn shape how they view the world.People’s interpretation and expression of love would always be subject to multiple factors, and if the very interpretation of love is relative and dependent, how then can we trust a notion as plastic as this, to single-handedly stir the ship of our relationships at all times?For example, it is the plasticity of love interwoven in culture amongst other factors that would cause a parent in Africa to frequently spank a child senseless, and another in Europe to always desist from laying a finger on their child, both actions inspired by what their understanding of love is, thanks to their predominant culture.It is for this same reason that I believe that love generally exists, but pure and uncontaminated love does not exist in the realm of humanity.In simpler words, I don’t believe human beings are capable of practicing and expressing true love.Besides, what would be uncontaminated to you, would be blemished in the eyes of another because the nature of our very diversity as a race would make sure we hold love to different standards of appraisalAnd even when we hold love to the same standard, the nature of our imperfect humanity would still corrupt the purity of love whenever we wield it.If you love your partner, you will give them space and let them go VS if you love your partner, you will fight for them at all times.If you love those around you, you won’t do what upsets them VS if you love yourself you would do what makes you happy even when it upsets those around youThe confliction, the confusion, the chaotic assemble of diverse opinions on the same issue.Growing up, the church preached that if someone really loved you, they would never want to have sex with you outside of marriage, and if someone wants to have sex with you before marriage, it is because they explicitly do not love you.Growing up, I met people and realized that there are those who would want to have all kinds of sex with you because they genuinely believe that sex and the intimacy that comes with it, is one of the forms through which love can be expressed at any point in time.Let’s also talk about how everything is done and preached under the guise of lovePain and happiness, destruction and construction, empathy, sympathy and ruthlessness all called love whenever it is most convenient or applicable, and yet with this insane chasm that goes on under the name of love, we bestow love enough confidence to hold our lives together all the time and to hold our relationships together?Love in its singleness would never be enough to hold a relationship togetherAnd personally, I think that the role that love plays in bringing and keeping two or more people together is highly overemphasized and overratedBut we don’t see this because most of the time we are convinced that we know exactly what love is, at least to us, and it is enough to keep things in order.What are the things shaping your idea of what love is?Because the idea of what love is, is always widely influenced by many societal elements – so influenced, that the presumption that you independently created your notion of what love is, might just be an illusionReligion, culture, environment and immediate community, family, peers, social influencers and public figures, your country’s political state, matters arising, ethnicity, etc. are all constantly lending a voice into the construction of what love is and should be.Which have you bought into? How certain are you of its authenticity?Love would never be enough, so you need to start complimenting it with other forces in order to create a balance that will hold things to the centre.Other forces such as fear, rationality, common sense, discipline, understanding, information and knowledge, realism, pragmatism, convictions, principles, selflessness, ruthlessness, empathy, value system, vision, and many others that would serve as checks and balances to love’s unbridled nature. Hello beautiful people, thank you for reading this. It’s a beautiful day.Totally irrelevant information: do you know I totally do not eat any kind of swallow and soup except it’s a matter of life and death? I’ve never enjoyed the taste of Eba and soup, but God will epp me. As a child I used to think it made me sophisticated, as an adult people doubt my heritage when they realize this Update: I edited this article after two years of writing it, and I am proud to announce to you that I now eat swallow and soup. There are so many ways that adulting would tame the wild animal in you, lol. This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu for Truth Zombie Blog You can reach out to the author via mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgConnect with Truth Zombie on social media for more exclusive contenttruthzombie on IGTruth Zombie on FB Read More
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu This is a both a sobering true live story, and a compelling work of art “So tell me; what do you imagine when you look at the tree?” I ask and wait expectantly to hear what she would conjure this time.She smiles as she stares up at the tree from where we sit under the protection of a hut. Her smile ruffles for a quick moment just as her eyes fluster temporarily, but soon enough they return to their passive state.“Well I see a witch” she almost whispers as her smile fades.They fade slowly as a familiar cold runs down my spine. I stare at her intrigued, stuck in between the traffic of emotions her fading smile creates as I watch her intently.“A witch?” I repeat “Yes, I see a witch. I imagine she hung from one of these branches years ago. Years before our school was even built”Her voice has the same edgy but comforting ease that the night breeze around us blows with. I imagine her voice as a soothing bed and duvet in the middle of the valley of death. After a while I imagine her voice as God resting on the seventh day.“Go on…” I beckon to her“I see the body of a witch dangling loosely, swaying from left to right like the pendulum on a clock that is counting down to the end of the world” she adjusts as she brings her legs up to the seat and hugs them, still not taking her eyes off the tree.“The witch’s body is slowly fading now” she sighs slowly“The witch is no longer there”“Now I imagine myself climbing up the tree. I want to hang from one of the branches too”I shiver, again.“The thought of the freedom is tempting, surrendering my willpower for once and allowing gravity decide my fate” Her stare still transfixed on the tree, her eyes tremble as she narrates to me what the voices in her head whisper to her“There is a twist now” she is almost soliloquizing, not exactly conscious of my presence anymore. “The witch is back, but this time she is hovering and staring at me. She is back to life, and she doesn’t want me to hang like she did. She is rebuking me, warning me against it” Avila’s voice is sulky now.She is disappointed in her imagination; she is upset that there is no rest for her, even in her imagination where she is supposed to make the decisions.“I am trying to explain to the witch that I am a witch too just like her. I’m trying to let her know that everyone calls me a witch as well…” her words fade but her stare remains glued to the treeA dreadful silence follows, just as the breeze gradually grows into a budding tempest, beginning to bend everything in its direction.The wind howls in my ear as it rushes past, but Avila continues to stare ahead at the tree undisturbed, lost in a world inside her head.“Suffer not a witch to live…” she suddenly drawls the words out.The wind is soon followed by the first drops of rain, and soon it grows into a downpour and a tempest, as the rain begins to bully everything around into submission, though we remain protected under the hutAvila soon snaps out of her thoughts just in time to see me staring at her. She shakes her head slowly and blinks back tears and pain.“The rain is now causing the tree to shake. All I want is peace and total stillness”I swallow, as I feel the sadness rise to my stomach. Impulsively but gently, I stretch till my hand is over hers, and they trace the scars that remain on her skin. They are the permanent reminder of her lethal relationship with the razor. As I feel the scars on my palm, my mind does a flashback to recent activities, and I swallow back dread as the memory invades my tranquillity again“You know…” I begin, squeezing her hands in mine as I struggle to find the right words. I feel the urgent need to simultaneously express ache and need“I’m happy you didn’t die.” I finally blurt out. She turns sharply and she locks her stare with mine. Her eyes are hollow and they blink, only dutifully. In all her stillness, her constant blinking is the only reminder that there is life in her body“You’re just so amazing Avila. You’re such an amazing person for you to have almost been dead. I’m happy you didn’t die when you fell” I gush, letting the words stumble out as a tear slides down my cheek.I am happy that in the darkness of the night, she won’t be able to see the tears on my faceShe continues to stare at me with that unnerving stillness of someone who doesn’t want to take on the world anymore. I can’t see her face clearly, but her eyes stand out. After a while she sighs and looks ahead again. “I didn’t fall Peniel, I jumped”“People say that I jumped because I was upset over how my valentine went” she sneers weakly“I want that sort of life. Valentine and gifts.”“Such a life would be so…painless”I’m not sure she is talking to me anymore, considering how low and distant her voice sounds. There is silence for a minute before she speaks up again.“I knew I would be too weak to simply jump, so I orchestrated a different demise for myself.” she begins to recall what I know is a sad story. I’m not sure I am interested in hearing the specifics of that day. It shouldn’t really matter. “I knew I was too weak to jump, so I came up with a plan.” “That day I had sex with someone who did not care one bit about me. Then I ate a lot of cake from my friends that got gifts for Valentine’s Day, and then I overdosed on drugs. I wore a thin gown, rubbed oil on my skin, and sat on the balcony rail."" The pills was so that I could slip off while unconscious, the thin gown was so it could rip if anyone tried to hold me by my gown, and the oil was so that I would slip off if anyone tried to grab me.”As I sit there listening to the details; the dedication, the commitment to an orchestrated demise, I feel a stab at my heart.“It’s a shame that none of them worked. The last thing I remember, was sitting by the balcony. Next time I woke up, I was in a hospital. Seeing all the faces of people rejoicing over me angered the fuck out of me. That and the bright hospital lights” she hisses under her breath.I remember the details that she can’t remember though. That is the part everyone else witnessed. The moment she dangled from the balcony while people held on to her, the moment she dangled between life and death. That moment was witnessed by the public, and sensitized on social media.The screams, the genuine fear, the adrenaline, the selfish thrill, the cheap entertainment it provided. The eventual fall, the descent to the floor…I gnash my teeth and groan as my heart skips from the memory.“I hear the videos of that day are online” she pulls me out of my thoughts“my pain, immortalized by the blogs and media, to live forever. Would it haunt me?” she asks, as the rain outside worsens, raging with more fervency than beforeThey could have told the truth at least, I curse to myself“I want to watch the videos…” she trails off again as something under the rain catches her attention.“You shouldn’t” I chirp in, finding my voice“Why?”“They are blasphemous.”The cameras could only capture the drama. None of it could capture the pain.She stares at me for a while before she begins to hum a Billie Ellish song - 6.18.18. Two minutes into our silence, I hold her hands again and together we rise from where we sit.Our eyes speak the words our lips can’t, and I smile desolately. I hold her hands firmly, and together we step into the rain, gasping from the cold, till we get used to it.Under the comfort of the rain, we hold hands as our foreheads meet. We savour the rain running down our skin, washing us off our filth and darkness, washing us clean of our pain as the noise of the downpour block out the inner voices of our torment.My hands circle her waist and pull her close, till her head rests on my shoulder in a tight embrace that exchanges the energies of our very essence.As my grip tightens and my breath and pulse increases, I close my eyes and imagine that the rain generates a flood that rises slowly till we are completely covered underneath it, knowing nothing but ourselves and the water around us. We would be found thousands of years later preserved, still locked in each other’s arms; an evidence of civilization’s greatest combination of pain and solace.I also try not to remember the video of her body tumbling down from the top of a building. There is more to her than that, the more that I currently feel as heat from her body. Read More
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu Let’s mess around with the idea of immortality and imagine a world where the concept of death doesn’t exist; a world where death and dying is impossible, and where ageing ceases after a particular time, allowing the rest of your life to be spent in immortality.I know, I know this IS crazy but indulge me. Let’s allow our imagination to run amok for a while, and let’s see what we come up withLet’s switch it up even more and imagine a world where death doesn’t exist, but birth does.There is a room for addition of new life, but never the elimination of a life.Let’s paint a world where a child is born, and the physical body grows to a certain level and ceases all form of physical growth. Afterwards, the person just keeps on living. Thousands of years after, the person would still be walking on the surface of the earth. I imagine a fully grown man taking a scroll in the evening, in the company of his ancestors, each of them cozying up to one another. Technically, I believe that there would be an elimination of notions like ancestors, generations, myths and legends, because we would all be the same generation, all walking on the surface of the earth. The idea of elder and younger too would be defeated because there would be no importance to being born before another, if there would be nothing distinct to separate us from the other.If we are all going to be walking together on the earth for all of infinity, I imagine that we would become so familiar with seeing ourselves around that we would probably just get sick of it. And then who would have the time to keep in touch with what a person’s age is, when there is no form of relevance that would be attached to it?Would there still be need for job descriptions involving qualification by age?I mean if there is no possibility of death, then it means there is no ageing, and hence no advancement or deterioration of intellect and maturity or body performance at all.What I’m still trying to process is if the absence of death would automatically come with the elimination of ill health.Come to think of it, the whole essence of being healthy, and avoiding sickness is to keep your body in a state that distances you from the experience of death for as long as possible. Would there be an absence of death, but the presence of health?If we are applying the same thwarted logic that we have been using since we started this ridiculous journey down this path, then it would be safe to say that the absence of death, dying and ageing would automatically mean the absence of every form of ailment.Immortality has to come with a package that would totally get rid of mortality and every package that comes with it, including sickness.If this is the case, it means that one can indulge in all form of health hazardous activities of their choosing and would be immune from the possibility of death and sickness because they have an imperishable body.WowA lot of things that we know now would no longer be in existence too, a lot of businesses and ventures.Medicine would be as irrelevant as a coffin is to a living personAll the medical theories revolving around life, living and death would simply be useless. What about life insurances and wills?What about religion, considering that almost all religion derives its legitimacy because of the human awareness and investment in death and dying The core of all religion has always been about man making the best of his life on earth in light of the fact that he will someday die. Different religions preach the ultimate message of the existence of an after-life each having a different version of what after-life would be like. Those who don’t preach after-life preach reincarnation or whatever the case may be, but what all of them have in common is the fact that one has to die first of all, in order to access this.What then becomes of religion when death is no longer in existence?What about purpose? Would there be any need for that when there is no purpose to life itself? Can you find purpose in a life where everybody is just living, moving from one day to another without the prompting of a possible end of time to spur people into trying to make the best out of their life before the end of time? There won’t be the urgency to struggle to achieve anything because well, you have till infinity to get it done, and if you know infinity means you would know that it is one heck of a long time.What about leaving a legacy behind? Would there be any need for that when you would always be in the picture, when you are the legacy to your existence?What becomes of all the historical classes and lessons bordering around figures of time past, and how they affect the present and the future? What would we even be able to make out of the concept of past, present and future in a world of this sort?The very idea of time itself would be defeated, because nobody would be conscious of the passing of time, since nothing changes with its passage, and the movement of time would no longer be of significance to anybody. Unless you can prove to me otherwise, I think time is only significant because our very existence hovers around it.Time waits for no man? What happens when man is no longer interested in trying to catch up with time, because time no longer has a destination it is heading to?Can you see this now? That life itself is built on the foundation of death and dying, and everything we know and do all points us to one thing: death.Death is what keeps the world moving, not life itselfIt makes me wonder then, why we are so afraid of deathOkay, let’s push this madness a little bit further.Remember, that there is no death clause, but there is a birth clause.This means we are talking about an ever growing population in a planet that cannot expand to accommodate its growing population. Over the space of years there would be rapid reproduction which would even be facilitated by the fact that there is nothing to do other than to while away time, so much free sex timeIf this is the case, can you imagine the level of overpopulation that the earth would be faced with?Let’s imagine what the earth would be like in the next ten thousand years when offspring are produced in millions daily, and nobody is dying.I would have said that there would be starvation and poverty, but I just realized that hunger is a part of the mortality package and with immortality we would have no need for feeding. Maybe there would be poverty considering that all of earth’s resources would be diminished, but of what value is poverty when it can’t affect mortality rate?What I imagine is a pile of human beings on top one another, because eventually every ground space would crammed with human beings.It would be a tower of human beings reaching towards the skies, one on top of another, unable to even move from one place to another because of the extreme congestion.Would the earth eventually implode under the overpopulation of humans in it? And if the earth implodes, what would happen to the human beings that cannot die or be destroyed? Or would the earth also have its own indestructible clause?Okay this madness is too much. We need to recover a little bit of sanity at this point. This is where my imagination would take me today, so I’m dropping the pen at this juncture. I don’t even know what the purpose of this article is, if not for sheer madness.Thank you so much for reading a piece even as illogical and irrational as this one, another sincere reason to love you for loving me even in my point of stupidity!As usual, here is the totally random message for today: I think the biggest flex ever in the history of music videos is Jay Z and Beyoncé renting out the louvre museum in Paris to shoot a music video. A single music video! All that art, all that power, and two mortals in the middle of such transgenerational glory, basking in it for six straight minutes. Aaaaargh. Sometimes I don’t even feel rich or powerful enough to be watching such masterpiece with my very two naked eyes. Okay, enough of the whining. Have a beautiful day! This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu for Truth Zombie Blog You can connect with the author via mail: email@example.com Read More
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu You most likely might have heard this phrase at least once in your lifetime that ‘age is nothing but a number’. If you’re unlucky in this regards like I have been, you may have heard it many times more than you really want to. The question however is if you believe it; if due to constant repetition, you’ve started passing it off as the truth, or maybe you’ve really always believed it, that age is indeed nothing but a number.People argue that this statement holds true and I agree too, that in some peculiar situations, its truth cannot be contested. But what of the other times this statement is completely taken out of context to defend a certain degree of silliness and absurdity?In recent times, the phrase has been adopted by a lot of parties, and it is no longer unusual to see this phrase being cited in situations where it shouldn’t even hold any level of sound logic.Age is many things beyond a numberI remember the first time I heard this statement used in a light that made me question its message. It was in a Nigerian movie, and in the movie the main character a little over twenty five and wasting his life in the village, was confronted by his elderly father. The father unable to fathom why his son would prefer to chase teenage girls in the daytime and drink palm wine in the evening, pointed out his age to him, and the mother who played a role where she always pampered her son came to his defence. Guess what her defence was? Yes you guessed right; age is nothing but a numberI never got to finish the movie so I can’t speak to its final message, neither do I know how the story eventually played out, but I remember for the first time, noticing how ridiculous that argument sounded in that context.I also remember calculating in my head, that if age is really nothing but a number, then these numbers shouldn’t be closely synonymous with our body’s growth and maybe somehow, we could separate the both of them so that these numbers would never mean that we are close to death. I mean why do mere numbers have so much to say about our nearness or distance from eventual death?If age is nothing but a number, then age should have the ability to run into infinity the way our number system does, and not be powerful enough to stop us from living, by the time we clock eighty, ninety, or hundred, as the case may be.Age is many things beyond a number.Age is the consciousness of the existence of time. It is the consciousness of the steady moving hands of the clock, drawing us minute by minute to the end of our lifetime.Age is the reminder of the fact that immortality does not run in our blood stream.Age is that concept that was naturally invented to put us in our right stage of life at every given time, the concept that makes sure we get the full package out of life, while being conscious of when exactly we are required to leave one stage and proceed to another.Age is the check that would instigate the society into putting everyone in their categories to ensure that both the young and old are treated in a way that is best suitable for them.Age is why it is wrong to have any sexual affair with a minor, because age points out to us, that the minor is not developed physically, emotionally and psychological to deal with such activity.Age is the reality that rations out responsibility, and is supposed to make sure that no one carries less, or more than is required of them at any moment.Age is the mantle that would grant the older ones the access to privileges, which would in turn spur the younger ones into desiring to grow.Age is what instils a certain level of order, discipline, and sanity to our already insane society.What is age to you? Age shouldn’t just be a figure you remember for document purposes, it should be what would inspire you to get to work, understanding that age is mortality and mortality is limited time for you.The awareness of age and ageing should be what would motivate you to pick up speed, running down the track of life, realizing that you have only but a short time to achieve all you have in mind to achieve, to change all you desire to see changed, and to build that legacy before your time is up. Age should be your reminder that you have been allocated a limited time that has already begun counting down.Age should be what would spur you into reflecting soberly on the beauty and futility of life, and the reality of death.Age is what would eventually bring you face to face with death, and death…what would death usher you into? Ever thought of that? Age shouldn’t just be an ever increasing number to you, it should be the reminder of life and living; age should be the reminder of the existence of time.Time – every second running into the next, combining to form minutes, minutes coming together to form hours, then weeks, then months, then years, endlessly running, unable to take a break not even for once.Numbers must not be coherent or chronological at all times; age never breaks its flow pattern. Numbers increase and decrease, age only increases.Age is not a number; age is only represented by numbersAnd there you have it! Another article from yours truly; Peniel Okwuchukwu. So someone recently read my articles on Truth Zombie blog and commented on the goofy parts where I give a random confession or irrelevant information in a goofy style. She commented that the goofiness of those parts were consistent with my real life demeanour as a serious guy. I confess I understand where she is coming from because my typical public persona is the waist coat ( I love my waist coats and vintage look!) and legs crossed type, with that Tommy Shelby type of gaze. I admit this is true to who I am and is not branding, but frankly there are other times when I want to hang from a ceiling fan and pretend I am Tarzan swinging across the jungle while letting out a comical war cry. I guess it’s that part of me that takes a little peek when I write this goofy parts. Lol.Have a beautiful day, or night! This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu for Truth Zombie Blog Read More
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu therapist – tell me your namepatient – my pronouns are they and themtherapist – okay. I’ve read your file and…I’m sorry but I can’t help youpatient – Yes you can and you will.therapist – and what can I do exactly? I’m as clueless as you arepatient – I’m not clueless. I know exactly what I want.therapist – and what exactly do you want?patient – I want to stop being clueless.I want you to help me find purpose in this agony.I want you to anoint me, single me out, open my heart, plant a cactus in the granite you find there, and then weld my flesh back together with burning sulphur.therapist – You do not speak the words I can understand.patient – You do not understand the words I can speak.therapist – Okay, let’s go back to the top. It says in your file that you’re addicted to the taste of dexgdie7%&vs.What does it taste like?patient – Like the moon when its back has been peeled off, like water after it has shed its skin at night, like incense from hell’s alter when it rises before the mighty throne bearing forth baskets of caskets of bones, fleshes, praise, and worship.therapist – I’m sorry, but this is vague. I need something I can work with if you want me to help you. Okay, what does your obse#@fjw6cb look like?patient – like the clouds that protect heaven from being contaminated with the cries of the oppressed, like Lot’s wife who smiles underneath her expensive garment of salt, like the expensive jewellery that strangles its owner, like the wedding ring that promises a future but ties the marital womb from ensuring posterity.therapist – do you love he^befashe4)+=?patient – Yes I do, but only as an enemy.I love her like David loved the songs that forced him to dance naked even when his lover scorned, like Achilles loved his heels that saved him from drowning in the pool of immortality, but later opened the gate for the enemy’s arrow, like Lucifer loved his pride that enthroned him King of the world but ruler of the damned.I love he^befashe4)+=, Like I love you. You, who I shall confide in now, then kill afterwards so that my secrets stay safe forever.therapist – you frighten me. Who are you?patient – a drowning shadow, an arch angel, a pillar of fire extinguished by alcohol, an apocalypse, a sleepwalker, but none of this matter anymore because this is my cue. I never answer this question without closing the chapter.And one last thing therapist: when you cross over, please do not tell any of my exes that I now attend therapy. Tell them that one day I will be reborn as a crippled Phoenix that rises from the floodgates Read More
TO THE 21ST CENTURY SOCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE: YOU TOO NEED TO HEAL
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu Many advocates of healthy social systems and mental health enthusiasts of the 21st century were introduced into the world of advocacy only after experiencing personally, the social ill that they became committed to fixing. Oftentimes than not, a person who is passionately championing a social cause and looking to dismantle a system, started off on that path after they experienced an abuse stemming from that faulty system.Of course, this does not and cannot apply to every social and mental health activist. I’m not even of the opinion that for one to be an activist hoping to correct any of the many ills in our society, they must first of all have experienced its horror as a sort of initiation.Matter of fact, the very nature of human empathy avails us the grace to be dissatisfied with and take a fecund stand against an anomaly without having to first of all experience its darkness. But nonetheless it still remains a reality that many advocates first became aware of societal ills as a result of personal experiences that facilitated their venture into the life of advocacy. It is this reality that I am led to address today.If you as an activist was first hurt or harmed before embracing activism, then you equally need to heal from the hurt that birthed your activism. Intentionally, dedicatedly, and completely, you need to also find your healing and peace.There is a misconception whereby activists who were once victims, subconsciously believe that to rediscover their sense of self after their own ugly encounter, they need only to take down the system that gave rise to their abusers.While this life of activism that we’ve chosen is godly and beautiful, this misconception is what it is; a misconception which we should get rid of. Activism – advocating, championing and instituting positive reforms won’t solely heal us. We won’t find healing exclusively from helping others heal, and we won’t be liberated from our pain simply by getting rid of the people that cause pain in the society.On a very broad categorization, people who experience abuse and is not presented with a chance to heal from it, deal with it in two ways – they either allow the abuse to open up a world of darkness wherein the abused becomes the abuser, or they, in a warped sense of self sacrifice, choose to be the person who confronts the abusers on behalf of others who have been abused or is prone to being abused. Sometimes these two categories intersect somewhere in the middle and a victim turned activist would find themselves giving love and positivity to one group of people, while hurting and abusing another group. How ironic and self-defeating.The problem with whichever of these paths one chooses to take (as a result of your lack of healing) is that so many years down the line, you might one day wake up to the reality that despite what you did with your life – whether good or bad, you are still without happiness and salvation. Many people who pick up a cause and pursue it wholeheartedly unknowingly do so as a coping mechanism, a way to deal with their own pain. Now while there is virtue in creating something positive out of your pain, there is no honour in choosing to live with your pain instead of overcoming it.While you do what is godly and try to champion the freedom of others from the shackles of abuse, you too need to allow yourself to be saved, if not you risk a total inevitable breakdown at some point. Abuse is like a wound that starts out small but when left unattended to after a while, starts to fester. The source of the wound might have been taken out and even destroyed, but destroying the source of the wound would not guarantee that the wound be healed.The 21st century activists who themselves were once victims of an evil social system is in an even more delicate situation, because social activism can be very engulfing and energizing that it keeps them going, soothing their pain albeit only temporarily. It’s like that high that keeps you floating, keeps you focused on others and their plight so that you don’t feel the burden of your own pain and darkness festering within. To the 21st century social and mental health advocate, there is an instant undeniable rush that comes from seeing someone become better because of your effort, and yet it is this fast-tracked nature of yoursuperhero life that is dangerous, because it projects a false sense of wholesomeness unto the activist.Dear mental/social health activist that has once been hurt or abused:You need to know that despite all of the activities happening at the surface of your life, underneath it all is a wound that continues to fester. Perhaps at unguarded moments you feel it – the frightening jab of your soul by an unexplainable but negative feeling; the sudden rush of emptiness; the overwhelming and negative emotions that periodically threaten to strangle you but don’t shimmer to the surface; the lack of peace and true happiness.And when you feel these indications of a pain that is still alive, you don’t acknowledge it because after all you are supposed to now be a master in this terrain. Or maybe you acknowledge it, but when you do, you acknowledge it only to intellectualize it and depersonalize the experience to just some talking points at your symposium. If you’re an artist, then maybe you romanticize it; sugar-coat it with fanciful words in your poetry or some compelling visuals in your work of art. You give your audience enough to brood over, but not enough to make you feel vulnerable, not enough to threaten the remnants of yourself that needs to heal and be made whole again.I encourage every advocate of healthy social systems and mental health (whether you’ve ever been a victim of social ills or not) to not neglect your wholesomeness as first, an individual.Always make the distinction between your well-being as an individual, and the well-being of the cause and path you have chosen. Seeing outstanding results in your advocacy against any social issue you’ve chosen to tackle doesn’t necessarily equate to the healing and salvation of your soul. It is a delusion to try to find salvation from saving others.It is counted as greatness unto you if you dedicate your life towards the selfless service of others, but first, do not negate the fact that your soul needs to equally be made whole, healed and at peace.I pray for each and every advocate championing any cause -gender equality, mental illness de-stigmatization, campaign against all types of abuse, against poverty, against exploitation, against ethnic targeted dehumanization, against substandard educational systems, etc. I pray that you would be provided with the grace to persevere to the end of your time, and that you would also find true happiness because you too, deserve to be happy.Thank you for reading!As usual, here is completely useless information: I’m in love with fancy and stylish pens in a very emotional way. I currently have two pens that cost a lot, and they are totally worth it. They are fanciful, made of wood, have my names engraved on them bla bla bla. The pens are one of my most valued possessions not only because of how sophisticated they make me feel, but also because of the story surrounding it.This probably makes me a man of low standards but one of the ways to get into my heart is to get me a really exotic pen, I’ll appreciate it more than I would appreciate millions of dollars (okay not really sha)Anyways, thanks for reading. Love, light and free food!This article was written by Peniel Okwuchukwu for Truth Zombie blog.You can connect with the author via email: firstname.lastname@example.org You can further connect with Truth Zombie via social mediaInstagram: @truthzombieFacebook: Truth Zombie Read More
Author: Peniel Okwuchukwu Dear you,You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are an epitome of uniqueness and you need to see it too.You are like a perfectly crafted piece of art in a very large gallery, and no matter how much you search from one end to the other, you would never see another like you, neither would you see another, moulded with the same glorious intents that you were moulded with.You are different, very different but in a beautiful way, and it’s not your fault if the society does not see it this way.Dear you,You do not need to conform yourself to the oppressive and imprisoning standards of the society; those stupid and fake standards of measuring beauty and self-worth that the society seems to live by. You are bigger than that, you are more than all of that and I’m sure you feel this greatness tugging at you at those discomforting times that you try to force yourself to fit into the small box of the society. Stop trying to fit in any longer, it’s time to break out and let go, time to be free to express all your inbuilt potentialIt’s time to be happy.Hey,It’s time to ease out of all these pressures to be this and that, to get gratification from the society and to crowd source your self-esteem. It’s time to find gratification from within you; it’s time to make something better of yourself than the empty day to day individual that the society is trying to make out of you.Hey,You deserve to be happy, and nothing you’ve done should doom you to a state of unhappiness; no mistake, no decision, no regrets, no experience should rob you of your happiness and make you feel irredeemable. Always remember: so long as you are capable of feeling remorse and guilty, then you are capable of redemption. Hey,I understand the pains that you feel and can’t say a word about because the society has taught you that expressing emotions and vulnerability is weakness, and that being strong is about stifling pain and denying its existence.That’s a lie.Beneath all your toughness is still a ‘You’ that is yearning desperately to be given expression to, to be given a room to cry out and breathe at the same time, and I think that is fine.Hey, I hear when you say in the silence of your head that you for once wish that you can be allowed to be weak, to breakdown and cry in someone’s arms and not be judged for it, and believe me you are not the only one.You see, it takes strength to acknowledge weakness and tiredness, and I believe there is certain strength in weakness. You are permitted to be weak; when you feel the last bits of will power and energy draining out of your pores and all you want to do is stare into nothing and let the first tears slide down your face, please do, it doesn’t make you less of a human beingI know, it must be painful to not have anybody around to listen to you; it must be painful to have lots of people around, but yet no one to look you in the eye, connect with your soul and sincerely say: “I understand”That must hurt like hell.It must be painful to have a heart filled with words that you have to keep swallowing over and over because everybody around seems so engrossed in their own lives to spot you clinging desperately to the edge of the cliff, finding reasons to not let go. Please don’t let go, please don’t let go. It would be worth it at the end.HeyStep down from that scale and shake off those lying voices that are telling you that your worth is measured by the scale. You might not have the model body, but at the end of the day when the real things of life matter, you would be relevant not by your body size, but by the condition of your heart and how it fuelled you to make the difference that mattered in the long run. I mean it. I mean it with every ounce of seriousness within me, you are beautiful. Anybody who tells you otherwise or makes fun of your body is blind, and you would just be how surprised as to how many blind people are out there.Hey,It’s sad that you are beginning to convince yourself that the only way out of your predicament is death; it wounds me to know that you think so. I mean, how can someone as amazing as you believe that the best option for you and all your gorgeousness is death?Death is not as fulfilling as you might think, and I’m here right now telling you, no pleading with you… please don’t die. I’m on my knees right now telling you to hang on to your life, because there is another way out, there would always be another way out, even when you can’t see it. No, I’m not downplaying on the intensity of your pains and your struggles, I’m not looking down on the fact that life has become synonymous with agony, and you seek desperately for relief, but I’m assuring you that you can find relief while still alive. The world would lose a very big deal if you stop breathing.Hey,I heard that you feel your demons calming down only when the cold blade finds your skin and opens it for your blood to escape along with the demons of the moment. You get relief from cutting, but when you are done you realize how harmful this is, and you want to stop. Believe me, I have an idea of the type of emotional pain that can push a person to seek solace in physical pain, the stings of a blade, and I can’t push this aside, but I urge you to fight. Fight through your challenges, confront your demons and come out tops. You would come out tops.I know you’ve been through a lot, we’ve been through a lot, and that’s why I want you to stop sulking and self-pitying and take a stepLet’s fightLet’s ridicule the wrong standards of the society.Let’s make mockery of the same things that once depressed us, let’s yank falsehood out of our lives, and let’s reinvent our living. Let’s remake culture and eradicate labels. Let’s eliminate stereotypes and let’s redefine the meaning of words like ’beautiful’ to encompass true beauty. Let’s arm our voices with reviewed ideologies of unity, love and true worth, and let’s challenge the same practices that bruised us and left us in need of mental healing. Let’s unsubscribe from these stupid tenets and let’s dictate to the society, the right ways to treat us.And when we speak they would listen to us because we wouldn’t be whimpering from our dimly lit rooms, but we would be roaring from the mountain tops and organizing coups on the same stages that were once used to feed us lies and corrupt our images of our self.Let’s shake our hurts and remake ourselves, then let’s remake the society to make sure that our children don’t experience this same crap.Yours with lovePeniel Okwuchukwu Read More