Abducted girl turns 16 in the forest

15 05 2019

Leah Sharibu pics

Her eyes were diamonds, sparkling brightly when she laughed. Leah Sharibu was only 14 in February 2018 when she and over a hundred of her companions were abducted from their school in Dapchi, by boko haram, the Islamic terrorist group that has been devastating parts of Northern Nigerian for decades. She celebrated her 16th birthday yesterday, Tuesday 14th May, in Sambisa forest.

They had broken into her school like infernal spirits, eyes red like open wounds; breath, foul and putrid.  Their laughter like clanging steel frightened the captured girls whom they herded like lambs into waiting Lorries and driven to the forest by night.

The girls knew neither where they were nor why they were there. Hunger and tiredness overwhelmed them. Bugs and flies tormented them. They cried until they could cry no more, and realizing that the dirty jackals could never be move by tears, they ceased wailing and collapsed in exhausted sleep.

When they woke, they realized their captors thirst for blood, cruelty and hideousness was just beginning. Soon, thugs ordered them to renounce their Christian faith and accept Islam, in exchange for their freedom. Repulsive fiends! Who would want to worship the god that made you so foul?

The ogres promised the girls freedom and food and many too tired and weak to resist, they broke down and gave in, and gave the yellow fanged jackals all they wanted. Only Leah stood firm. She will not succumb and the trees danced for joy.

Shortly afterward, they released all the yielding girls, except Leah. They then announced via social media that according to their Islamic faith, Leah was now their slave, and that they were permitted to do whatever they liked her.

O infernal vermin, who permitted you to do vile things in the name of God!! You permitted yourselves to do violence to a religion of peace!!

News of the freed girls broke the internet and parents and relatives jubilated, but for Leah’s mother, however, it was a nightmare just unfolding; she wept herself blind for her sweet child still in captivity, and called for help till her voice broke.  For 2 yrs, little seems to have been done, and nothing may be done for many years to come.

Rebecca sharibu

Like the Christian martyrs of old, Lear is ready to die for her faith. Still, how hard it was for her to watch her companions fall one after another, swept by fear, one by one, till she was all alone, like a lone leaf left on a storm swept tree. With no one to lean on, no friend, yet the Angels are with her. Her captors must have howled and jeered with their disembodied voices, flies and venom spewing between their crimson fangs.

They are fools, though. Leah has chosen to serve in heaven rather than to reign in hell, and her love is mightier than their hate, and for that we salute her. Her parent salutes her, her family salutes her, her kinsmen salutes her, her village salutes, and her Nation salutes her.

She may die before any one lifts a finger to save her, yet her blood would water the tree of life for generations of Christians yet unborn. The Christian faith that they seek to extinguish in Nigeria will only grow stronger because of her witness, her blood. If she accepts death in bondage, she would have accepted a temporal bondage that would yield eternal freedom in Heaven and it’s not a bad deal; though few know it.

Her companions testified that she sang daily in her cell praising God’s name.  Her voice carries to heaven breaking the hearts of God even as a busy bee, she flirted around the forest, and did many things to ease the pains of her companion while they were with her.

 But God is wisdom

The angels of God are watching keenly with flaming swords unsheathed. All but a nod from God and the heads of those infernal jackals will roll. Yet, God’s plans are all wise and He will not retract a freedom once given to men though they long misuse it.

They may imprison Lear’s body, but they cannot imprison her soul, dancing like a butterfly, touching us all with suffering. The curtain of night fell upon us the night they took her. The stars are still blinking and the winds still wailing nonstop until we see Leah free. Happy birthday Leah! May the Angels protect and keep you safe. Amen

 

Chinwuba Iyizoba

 





Why Tears Flowed as 20yro Josh Daniel Sang For his True Friend

6 05 2019

josh daniel

As fire consumes a forest, as flames set a mountain ablaze, so does yearning devour a heart for a friend, a true friend. Judges and audience shed rivers of tears as 20 yr old Josh Daniel sang for his best friend who died at 18 at the 2015 X Factor audition.

The song was Labrinth’s “Jealous” and when Simon Crowell, one of the judges, asked him why he picked the song, he said that it meant a lot to him for a different reason and a shadows fleeted briefly across his handsome face as he paused to recollect himself before saying, “I lost my best friend a couple of years ago, and I interpret the lyrics in a completely different way. The lyrics say that I am jealous that you are happy without me, and I kind of see it in the sense that I am jealous that he moved on to a better place (Heaven) without me.”

As Josh began singing, the air trembled with emotions and his pain, like an arrow, pieced hearts, and tears ran like river down the faces of all as though they felt the searing wound in his heart, wounds that the past years hadn’t heal. His death shattered his heart but this song put it together again, he died, yet lives in his heart, and alone on that stage, he was with him as he sang for him.

judge

When he finished the hall erupted, a standing prolonged ovation. As silence returned, a speechless female judge who wasn’t ugly at all tried to say something but faltered and with tears streaking down her face said, “Wow! That was the most captivated I have been in the whole audition, and I believed every word you said and …I kind of want to hug you.”

Josh readily accepted and she gave him a bear hug before a cheering audience. The video has been seen by more than 200million people and it is still breaking hearts.

No one will choose to live if he has no friends says Aristotle.

True friendship is something probably unknown to many people. Who wouldn’t want to have such a friend?  We all crave it, we all desire it, yet the harsh truth is that it isn’t easy to get.

Finding a true friend is harder than finding blue diamond in the dump heap of today’s ephemeral social-media friends. A true friend loves another, not because of what he can provide, but because of who he is. He helps the other to develop, to go further, to become good.

A true friend differs from a pleasure friend as silver differs from tin foil.  Pleasure friendship ends when pleasure ends, but true friends are forever.  Pleasure is perhaps the weakest of all glues that hold people together, and if that is all there is, it prevents true friendship. Little wonder sex friendships don’t last, they often crash on the jagged rock of selfishness, shattering in a million pieces leaving nothing but bitter memories.  Josh and his friend shared a clean fulfilled-love that transcended death. Sex had nothing to do with it; it would have brought misery.

They might have fought, or driven each other crazy at times, yet their love was true and unbreakable. They might have faced and conquered dragons, or gambled and lost their last buck, yet all they had they shared.

We can all have true friends but only a few since it takes time and a lot of work to build such friendships. Is a great Cathedral built in a day? Is a great song written in one sitting? Yet with constant work, day by day, the Cathedral will stand, and the song will delight million in generations to come.

Chinwuba Iyizoba

 

 





Woman got uber driver fired for refusing to drive her to abortion clinic

30 04 2019


A 20-year-old college student in upstate New York reported an Uber driver for refusing to take her to get an abortion. According to the women’s account, which was reported on by Yahoo! Style (UK), the ride-sharing company canned the pro-lifer.

But now the woman is looking to take legal against the driver.

“I’m in college in upstate NY and I don’t have a car on campus because it’s expensive,” she wrote in a message posted to Reddit earlier this month.

“I’m 20 years old and I found out I was pregnant and subsequently decided I wanted an abortion because I’m in no position to care for a child,” the woman said.

She found a clinic about an hour from her university, because the nearby Planned Parenthood had a schedule that didn’t work for her. “Because I don’t have a car, I rely on Uber and [L]yft to get me places,” she said.

The student then recounted her interaction with the Uber driver, who attempted to dissuade the woman from choosing abortion before telling her he could not drive her to the clinic.

“My appointment was at 11:30am so at 9:58am my Uber arrived and he immediately seemed uncomfortable. After about five minutes in the car, he asked, ‘are we going to a planned parenthood?’ I said no (because we weren’t), but it set off alarm bells that he would even ask that,” she recounted. “The destination I put in was just the name of the doctor and the address of the clinic, there was nothing that would suggest it was an abortion clinic. After a few more minutes he asked, ‘are we going to an abortion clinic?’”

“I was shocked,” the student continued. “I had no idea what to say, so I just remained quiet. He then said ‘I know it’s none of my business, but…’ and proceeded to mention something about his wife being pregnant, how awful the procedure was (and proceeded to explain it in graphic detail), and that ‘there is so much they don’t tell you’. He then said ‘you’re going to regret this decision for the rest of your life’ and that I was making a mistake.”

At about halfway to the clinic, the woman said, the driver “suddenly pulls over with no warning.”

“He said ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t take you the rest of the way. I can take you back to [my city], but you won’t be able to find another Uber out here,’” the post read.

The woman said she finally got ahold of her boyfriend, who advised her to call the clinic and inform them she’d be late. (What a great guy.)

“I got out of the car and immediately started crying,” the student wrote. “I called my parents each three times but they didn’t pick up. Then I called my boyfriend and he picked up right away. He managed to calm me down and told me to let the clinic know what was happening and to call some local cab companies.”

The driver then “hung around for about 10-15 minutes and asked once more if I wanted to go back with him,” she said, but noted that she “declined.”

“After he left, a cab came and I got to my appointment (an hour late),” the post read.

The driver, who otherwise had good reviews from patrons, was fired after the woman filed a report against him.

“I reported the driver to Uber and the next day I filed a police report with my city’s police department. Someone on Uber’s team got in touch with me after I told them about the police report and called me to get a detailed account of what happened,” she said. “I told them everything on a call that was recorded, and the rep mentioned that it appeared the driver had taken a less direct route to get me to my destination prior to dropping me off.”

“Within a few days they reached out again and told me the driver had been banned from Uber,” the woman added.

But the driver being fired was not enough: “However, I’d like to pursue further legal action against the driver if at all possible. Do I have a case? What should my next steps be?” she asked via Reddit.

“I reached out to a law firm and a few legal aid societies but nothing has happened. I’m not sure what I should do now,” the woman said.

By AMANDA PRESTIGIACOMO





Actress Nicole Kidman returns to Christianity, Mocked

26 04 2019

“A lot of my friends tease me,” said Kidman, who came back to her Catholic faith prior to marrying country singer Keith Urban in 2006. The couple settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where they have lived ever since.

Kidman said that regular Mass attendance is an important part of their family life.

“That’s how we are raising our children. Keith has his own beliefs but he comes, too,” the Big Little Lies star said. “I had a very Catholic grandmother, and I was raised praying, so that had massive impact.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s absolutism, there’s constant questioning — I’m a willful, feisty girl. For me it’s very important that I don’t have judgment. My dad would always say, ‘Tolerance is the most important thing,’” Kidman said.

Leading up to her marriage to Urban, Kidman spent time studying theology at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, as part of “a return to her Catholic roots,” it was reported.

“Catholicism guides me. I certainly have a strong belief. I try to go to church regularly, and I try to go to confession,” she said at the time.

Last fall, Ms. Kidman told Allure that she had considered becoming a nun when she was young, a life she felt attracted to.

“I’m spiritual in the sense that I absolutely believe in God,” she said. “I loved the idea of being a nun. Obviously, I did not choose to go that path, but I was very drawn to it.”

The Oscar-winning actress wandered from her childhood faith for several years, dabbling in Scientology and Buddhism while she was married to actor Tom Cruise and later returning to the Catholic faith.

“For Nicole, you know this is a spiritual homecoming, coming back to the church and her faith in her old parish,” said Father Paul Coleman in 2006, an Australian priest and a longtime friend of the Kidman family who helped the actress obtain the annulment of her marriage with Tom Cruise.

The 51-year-old star has two grown-up children with Cruise, as well as two younger daughters — Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret — with husband Keith Urban.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter

http://www.breitbart.com





A Million Pains as Adele’s Marriage Shatters

23 04 2019

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Backstage And Audience

For years now, rumors have been growing that music idol, Adele’s marriage was failing, yet many of her fans were shocked when, last week, one of her spokesperson confirmed it. There is something about her that pulls the heart’s string making everyone root for her to succeed, even in marriage. Yet, any keen observer of trends already knew where the shadow of the growing tree would fall.

The 30 year old music diva had been living (cohabiting) with 45 year old Simon Konecki, a successful entrepreneur, for 6 years before they got married. They already had a son, Angelo, in 2012, before deciding to marry secretly in 2016.  It is common that couples who cohabit before marriage often discover that their marriage is like watching a rerun soccer game, lacking content, expectancy and surprise. In a short time they could begin fidgeting with the TV remote, searching for something more exciting.

adele marriage

The news was shocking because the singer had recently spoken of her longing to expand her family.

‘My womb is starting to ache a little bit,’ she said. ‘It’s like, ‘Baby, baby, baby. Need a baby.’ I’m not pregnant. I won’t get pregnant until the end of the tour,’ she had said not too long ago on a TV interview.

This may suggest that perhaps Simon may be the one pushing it. Her gift to him of a 400,000 euro mansion shortly before the news broke did not seem to have placated him. Having been divorced previously, he has plenty of experience, and doesn’t seem to be affected by it all. He was seen at a party the night that the news broke, having such a good time according to witnesses.

Adele-husband2

Divorce rarely benefits anyone much less the woman. It far easier for a man to walk out of one marriage and walk right into another than it is for woman to do the same. A woman’s biological sand clock runs out quickly; her beauty and fertility, resources that help her attract men, last but little and every man knows that.

Adele herself was spotted in a gay bar getting drunk with friends even as her marriage is going up in smoke. Yet there is no doubt she loves her son and wants the best for him. Both she and her husband have said that though they are getting divorced, they are committed to best interest of their child even as they rip apart the very thing that is in the best interest of their child.

Mainstream media is still busy minting new phrases to describe the divorce: “They are breaking up as friends,” says one. “Happily divorcing,” says another.

Yet, breaking up isn’t what friends do and people break up because they aren’t happy. If marriage  creates a single heart, divorce rips it to a million pieces, and when a heart is ripped it often dies.

So Why Marry?

Why do people who have lived almost the entire length a relationship cohabiting marry?  What were they missing even when they seem to have it all?

Adele and Simon already had a child, and business was going so well, her three studio album “19’ (2008), “21” (2011), “25” (2015) were each a huge hit worldwide with sales topping over a 100 million records. So why did she get married, and secretly for that matter?

baby

Marriage is the public pledge between a man and a woman to join their common destiny for life, and for the sake of children. Christian marriage is even more profound, the couple decides to give themselves wholly and entirely to each other in marital love for life and in openness to life, a decision that is attractive and noble and many unmarried people desire it.

But the modern creation of “no fault divorce” has radically altered the meaning of marriage, stripping it of all vestiges of permanence, honor and respect; it is now a naked business contract–with exit clauses.

 

It’s high time a name; a new name is found for this new creature which is startlingly different from the old; a name that reflects the new reality; like a larva is distinct from a butterfly and has a different name, even while sharing a common origin, this new modern business contract often referred to as marriage should be distinguished from true marriage by a new name.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





Kardashian Redemption

15 04 2019

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere says Martin Luther King Jr, and Kim Kardashian, reality TV star and glamour girl, seems to have taken it to heart. She announced recently that she is studying to become a lawyer to better help prisoners. She told Vogue magazine that her decision was inspired by her recent success in persuading President Trump to commute the life sentence handed out to a 63 yr old woman in Tennessee for a first drug offense.

She has also helped to win clemency for another woman was convicted as a teenager of murdering a man who paid to have sex with her.

“I just felt like I wanted to be able to fight for people who have paid their dues to society. I just felt like the system could be so different, and I wanted to fight to fix it, and if I knew more, I could do more,” she said.
Kardashian, dropped out of school, started the reality TV show with her sisters, called “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” and developed a line of fashion and beauty products worth millions of dollars. Now she wants to go back and for good reasons too.

Gold is buried deep in slug, and a prostitute washed Jesus’ feet.

Kim Kardashian is hardly a saint. Yet, no matter what you think of her, her sex tapes, her nudes pictures that often break the internet and jar the senses, whether you love her or hate her, this good she is doing stands tall, and that’s the truth.

Even though her heart hungers for fame and fortune as wildly as a starving lion hungers for game, yet, having eaten to her heart’s content, she has left some affection for the incarcerated poor of America. They now have a voice and an advocate willing to undertake an inconvenient adult education to serve them better.
Let us hope that many super rich will toe her line and look beyond themselves at others who have nothing and sometime less than nothing.

The world isn’t black or white, but different shades of gray

We may not endorse everything in the world, but we must endorse every good in the world. In a world where an average person hears a million bad news daily, and believes he will go deaf if he hears anymore, any good news is as refreshing as clear cold water to a thirsty deer.

Yes, she sometime represents the worst of our time; other times, the best of our times. A diamond in the rough, her actions sometimes reflects foolishness; at other times reflects light and wisdom from distant stars.
Her love for prisoners must come as a refreshing call to action for her fellow rich and famous, to extend their helping hands to the less miserables of their time,
Perhap, her Catholic high school background has a hand in it, for care for prisoners is indeed a work of mercy cherished by the Church
Prison reform, is so noble, so worthy, and is needed everywhere. In Nigeria, many in prison are held without charge for many years, thanks to the reckless actions of the police, who are quick to arrest on mere suspicion and quick imprison without relevant paper work.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere and it is up to everyone to fight it. Anyone who barricades himself in the citadel of his own selfishness will never come down onto this battlefield.
As is expected, at 38, she isn’t finding study easy.
“The reading is what really gets me. It’s so time-consuming,” she said.
But then, she has her late father’s spirit, Robert Kardashian, a great lawyer who helped OJ Simpson in1995 to win acquittal for double murder. She is sure to ace her bar exam come 2023 when she will sit for it.
Best of luck.

No doubt, the time she devotes to this worthy cause may set her back a few bucks, but she is financially secure, and wouldn’t miss the bucks. But she will miss the train ride to redemption at the twilight of her life if she misses this great opportunity to give her life to something higher than her ego or her fame.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





Forgive but Never Forget: 25yrs After Rwandan genocide

9 04 2019

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

crowd of Rwandan at 25 yrs of genocide

 

Forgive and forget is an old saying but not in Rwanda as it marks 25 years after the genocide that killed close to a million people. The people are convinced that peace will continue only if they never forget.

 

“We are family once again, but never again will this happen”, said Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president on April 7 during the lighting of the commemoration lamp that will burn the whole of 100 days, the time it took to end the genocide that began on April 7, 1994.

On 6 April 1994, a plane carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana – a Hutu – was shot down, killing all on board. The government blamed the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), a Tutsi led guerrilla fighters in the north. The next day a well-organized campaign of slaughter began. Youth militias (Interahamwes) were given hit lists of Tutsi victims. Many were killed with machetes in acts of appalling brutality. They set up road blocks to find Tutsis, incited hatred via radio broadcasts and carried out house to house searches. The killing lasted a 100 days ending when the RPF, led by Kagame and backed by Uganda, marched on Kigali. Some two million Hutus fled, mainly to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Unlike the sowers of hatred who orchestrated the genocide and ethnic division, Kagame has fostered unity and common brotherhood of all Rwanda.

Today, the country has recovered economically, with President Kagame’s policies encouraging rapid growth and technological advancement. Growth remains good – 7.2% in 2018 according to the African Development Bank.

“The arms of our people, intertwined, constitute the pillars of our nation,” Kagame said. “We hold each other up. Our bodies and minds bear amputations and scars, but none of us is alone. He added: “The fighting spirit is alive in us. What happened here will never happen again…”

From the constant bloodletting of Boko Harm in Northern Nigeria to the threats of vicious Somali gunmen in Kenya. African sees a lot of blood and horror. The African leaders present at the ceremony are hopefully here to learn how to stop the constant bloodshed, hatred and injustice in their own countries by building bridges that create spirit of brotherhood like Kagame has done in Rwanda.

 

True peace comes from Forgiveness

Immaculee Ilibagiza

The 1994 genocide destroyed the illusion that African fault line wars are triggered by lack of religious homogeneity. With an estimated population 5.6 million, 80 percent of Rwandans are Christians, mainly Catholics, yet they ditched the truths of the Catholic faith taught to them as children to heed the screech of murder and rape.

Immaculée Ilibagiza, a woman who survived the genocide hiding in a pastors toilet for 90 days with seven other women but lost her entire family with the exception of one brother who was outside the country, in her New York Times best-selling Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, she talked about her struggles with hatred and desire revenge against those trying to kill her, and her initial inability to forgive. Then one day like one who had since been looking at a tapestry from behind seeing only a meaningless jumble of treads, she was finally given through prayers to see it upfront, and marvel at its beauty . She tells the story like this:

One night we heard screaming not far from the house and then a baby crying. The killers must have slain the mother and left her infant to die in the road. The child wailed all night; by morning, its cries were feeble and sporadic, and by nightfall, it was silent. I heard dogs snarling nearby and shivered as I thought about how that baby’s life had ended. I prayed for God to receive the child’s innocent soul, and then asked Him, How can I forgive people who would do such a thing to an infant?

I heard God’s answer as clearly as if we had been  sitting in the same room chatting: You are all my children . . . and the baby is with Me now.

In God’s eyes, the killers were part of His family, deserving of love and forgiveness. I knew that I couldn’t ask God to love me if I were unwilling to love His children. At that moment, I prayed for the killers, for their sins to be forgiven and for the first time since I entered the bathroom, I slept in peace”.

immaculee in toilet where she lived for 90 days with 7 other women

Immaculee in toilet where she lived for 90 days with 7 other women when she returned to Rwanda after the war

True, bad indoctrination can contribute to evil actions, but every evil act is still an individual act. Those who choose evil exercise personal freedom and thus are responsible for their acts.  It is heartening to note that many  Hutus chose to die rather than kill. They were true Hutus because they chose freedom rather than slavery of evil and their action are an indictment of those who took up the machetes to kill.

One can be trapped in the most horrendous and inhuman prison and yet be free, by accepting God’s will and by loving sacrifice, thinking of all the souls on earth Immaculée found her deepest relationship with God, learning to love all mankind, especially to pray and forgive her enemies.

She reached the peak of  forgiveness when she decided to visit Felicien, the man who killed her mother, and personally forgive him. After she had told him so, she asked him: “How can you have done this? Killing so many people, you can’t be at peace.” In rags, he seemed small and confused. “”I wanted to reach out to him,” she said. “I cried, and then he himself started to cry.”

The official in charge of the jail, a Tutsi who was a survivor like Immaculée  who was initially angry at her for forgiving the man latter came to her and said, “You don’t know what you did to me, when you went to the jail and forgave Felicien.  I was shocked but I learnt the necessity for forgiveness.”

Just like a tennis ball striking a soft pillow decelerates and loses its power to rebound, violence stops when it hits a forgiving heart. This is a lesson that Rwandans and millions of African victims of violence should take to heart and never forget.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba

 








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