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September 22, 2017
What type of organisation exists without office politics?  An imaginary or nonexistent one? ‘Office politics can be vicious, and power struggles in your company will be part of your career whether you choose to participate in them or not’-WSJ.com Once upon a time I worked in a certain organisation run by vision and over run by grape vine talk. I don’t remember what the vision was. The grape vine however had it at the time that I wasn’t doing much for myself not showing obeisance to a certain superior officer in the organisation. I heard via the grape vine how this superior officer had indignantly lamented in several conversations that he alone had opened the door for me into the organisation and I had refused to understand what that implied. It implied loyalty demonstrated by a penchant to suck up to him when the occasion required as I was to learn. Since I had chosen not to play suck up he was prepared to cancel the act of supposed benevolence he initially directed towards me by ‘certain’ actions. One of such actions was soon to come to the fore. It was pretty intriguing when a colleague informed me that ‘someone’ had seen he and I having a discussion the previous afternoon and had inquired after I left what we had discussed and what I had said. It wasn’t a surprise who that someone was. So tabs were being kept on me, I was being monitored and not for my job performance. At the time I didn’t care much for big brother but I soon got to understand the philosophy behind the god complex.  Shannon L. Alder put it this way, ‘The need for control always comes from someone who has lost it’. This simple truth stimulates the propensity of an individual to dominate, manipulate, and seek control of people and circumstances while displaying a profound sense of self righteousness. As a joke, I often tell my audience that someone suffers from the god complex when he wakes up and says, “OK God, you can go back and rest, I am awake now.”-Pierrette Desrosiers. Such a person truly believes without room for doubt that it is only by his machinations (masked as methods) the organisation will survive. They fan the embers of destructive office politics and project their ideas and actions as the way, the truth and a light so bright, it is blinding. They are masters at rallying members of staff for corporate warfare. Intrigues and the realisation of personal agenda are often the centre piece of such battles which also serve as ego trips. The one with a god complex truly thinks himself God. My broader experience at the organisation nurtured within me a deep disgust of destructive office politics and enabled an inclination for confrontation. Not entirely a tactful way of handling work place shenanigans. I did come to learn that confrontation is not always the logical way out. Like a game of chess, consider the other side.


August 20, 2017
‘Hello?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘Nurse it’s me, the lady who did an HIV test this afternoon. I’m calling about the result…Hello nurse can you hear me?’ ‘Oh, were you the one who called the other time? My dear your test result…’ and the line cut again compounding my exasperation. It was my third call to the diagnostic centre. I’ll get back to this conversation but I had my first HIV test four years ago at this particular diagnostic centre. I had paid a visit to a gynecologist for a burning sensation in my bowel. The doctor recommended a few tests and inquired about when I last took an HIV test. I am a part of the population in Africa who don’t undertake periodic HIV tests. ‘A number of studies conducted in Africa have also investigated barriers to testing…These African studies offer most direct evidence that the ‘fear factor’ operates as disincentive to test, on a peer group as well as an individual level’- aidsmap.com It’s not the fear factor that dissuades me from regular HIV testing. It’s just not a part of my routine especially as I have enjoyed really good health for most of my life. Aside bouts of malaria, I never really have medical emergencies. If it seems surreal, it is true. I told the doctor I had never taken an HIV test and without asking why, she scribbled HIV/AIDS test on her note pad as one of the tests she required me to take. This attitude towards regular HIV testing presents a key challenge for the fight against the spread of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organisation states that lack of an HIV diagnosis is an obstacle to implementing its recommendation that everyone with HIV be offered Antiretroviral.  Yet consider that stigmatising attitudes and discrimination towards HIV carriers is still evident in parts of Africa. I remember that as I walked into the diagnostic centre requesting to pay for a HIV test at the counter, a woman and two men who were making inquiries at the counter stole glances at me after I made payment for the test. From the corner of my eye I noticed those three kept their stare on me as I ascended a flight of stairs to the second floor of the three storey building where a laboratory was located. At the laboratory a nurse in a lab coat asked me to take a seat and proceeded to draw my blood with a fresh needle. Afterwards, I asked when the test result would be available and she said it was her lunch break already; I would have to wait for another hour or so. I told her I couldn’t wait that long and inquired if I could pick the result the next day and she responded positively. On my way out of the premises, I asked the lady at the reception who I had paid the test fee to if I could call in later in the day for my test result and


August 14, 2017
I decided to make changes to my website yimanalley.com and this required getting new pictures for a new outlook. I had a picture of me that was cut off at the head space. It didn’t look balanced so I sent it to a photographer and asked her to create room at the top so the tip of my head doesn’t appear cut off. She did and also managed to edit the picture in a way that made it look photo shopped. I’m sure she thought I would appreciate the effort. The two photos are displayed; the original above and the photo shopped one below. Consider both photos as a metaphor for how people portray themselves in the light of their fantasies and false idealism.   We live life wanting to project an image of ourselves that are semblances of us. Let me explain. In 2016, in Lagos, Nigeria, a woman was reportedly beaten to death by her husband after a domestic dispute. The back story revealed the marriage had long been troubled. When the tragedy trended on social media, comments were made about how the deceased had constantly posted pictures of her ‘seemingly’ happy looking family. Smiling wife next to a beaming husband, those sorts of images were her usual face book posts. Pictures that belied the pain of living in that quagmire of distrust and violence that marriage can degenerate into. It had been a loving relationship but for accusations of infidelity between the couple going by the back story.   I have empathy for folks who smile through their pain but it takes a deeper consideration to understand why people go through lengths to keep up an appearance to profoundly disprove the truth about their reality. Like someone who constantly laughs in public and looks over their shoulder to glimpse if they’ve got an audience. It’s important to them to be seen laughing in public for afterwards they must return home to personal complications and weep in private. It does matter to them to be seen in a ‘certain light’, for many have too much to prove, to a world that doesn’t often give a rat’s tail. Understand this, you become fodder for other people’s gossip and private talk when you have messy complications or even basic life challenges. If people can pre-occupy themselves with what Nigerians call ‘your wahala’ (your troubles) they momentarily forget theirs. Yet isn’t this the flip side of it? If I go out of my way to present myself in a light that doesn’t reflect my reality, who then am I to me? What does the effort say about me?  By a deep sense of inadequacy we struggle hard to show off to others. Call it, carrying a chip on our shoulders about ourselves. So we showcase ourselves in the light of our false idealism and make believe because in the light of our reality, we are not impressive enough to others. For that reason, we are also not impressive to ourselves for


August 8, 2017
Discernment has served me well in life. It’s something I find truly fascinating. The ability of knowing something or having a pre-knowledge about something before really encountering or experiencing it can be pretty instructive. It teaches you about struggling less and keeps you on the right path. Some years ago I decided to resign from a certain broadcast organisation and move to another. I did an audition, sent in my C.V, kept up correspondence with the new people. I did everything I thought I should have been doing but I just didn’t get any head way. I just kept up the effort and it certainly felt like nothing was happening. At some point I decided to back off. I kept wondering why this was such a struggle till it dawned on me that I shouldn’t be headed that way. I’m not implying that all resistance be read that way. Now, that’s where discernment comes in. You suddenly know in your spirit what the force of life is saying to you. You’re not confused about it for with discernment you honestly can’t be confused. There’s always clarity when you discern something in your spirit unless again you choose to continue in self denial or you make up your mind without consideration. I knew in my spirit I was to let go of that decision to get that new job so I did and waited. It wasn’t long before a new opportunity came and I moved to another organisation without any struggles. It all just fell into place. It was at this second organisation, I got an opening for my first training course in the dynamics of broadcasting. I moved to a new city and encountered new opportunities. Imagine if I had decided to prevail on the situation, insist on getting the first job and missed out on something ordained ahead. You may also consider that even if I had insisted on getting the first job and somehow got it, I could have still had an interesting career.  True but there’s a difference between what you want and what you should want. Did you ever want something so bad and eventually got it and time after you wondered why you ever wanted it. What you think you want may not always serve the right purpose in your life but you only get the chance to figure that out long after your choice is made and there are certain choices you just can’t go back on. I remember years back when I was house hunting in Lagos, Nigeria. I got to hear of an apartment in Lekki (a suburb in Lagos, south west Nigeria), which was a bit above my price range. The Holy Spirit told me to pay for the place and I got intrigued about how I was going to do that before someone else snapped it up, as was the practice. You indicate interest in renting an apartment in Lekki in the morning and someone else pays for it by