By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu

I am having a minor mid-life crisis. Actually, it's more like a quarter-life crisis since I'm not even 25 yet. I recently reviewed, in chronological order, my previous articles. Don't ask me why. It must have been one of those times when I was so "jobless", anything seemed like a good idea; or perhaps it was during a period when I had so much to do and so little time to do it that any action which deferred work was a minor rebellion against the shackles of life's incessant toil. You know those times--we've all had them. Anyway, for whatever reason, I did it. I went on a psychological journey that started with "Why weren't things better before now? Because I wasn't there to make them better [Ode to my Generation]" to "We're not the promise of tomorrow but the regrets of yesterday [Out with the Old, Forget the New]."

Read more: Running on Faith

By Mwatabu S. Okantah

The nightmare lasted so long and the distances traversed were so vast that communication was breached between home and diaspora; even memory lapsed, and the two sides lost each other; they forgot who they were, their proper name. One side earned the name of slaves and the other of savages. Oppression renames its victims; brands them as a farmer brands his cattle with a common signature. It always aims to subvert the individual spirit and the humanity of the victim; and the victim will more or less struggle to remove oppression and be free. --Chinua Achebe

Read more: One Poet's Search

By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu

This must be somewhat of an unusual situation for you. I can hear your incredulous, derisive comments.

"What?! A mere chit of a girl, not even old enough to be my daughter/granddaughter/mistress?"

"Who the hell does she think she is?"

Read more: Mr. Presidents

By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu

I am often called a feminist. Sometimes it is even a compliment. As far as I'm concerned it's just a label and labels don't mean much to me. However, the characteristics typically associated with the given label I do care about. Usually when a man calls a woman a feminist, what he really means is that she's a man-hater and/or that she exhibits the same traits which in a man, would be considered admirable but in a woman are "too strong" or "unfeminine" or at the very least, impractical. I do have some of those characteristics-I'm strong-willed and independent. I can be a very vocal critic of things that bother me. I am passionate about the things and people I care about. I am idealistic; I want to make a difference. I hate injustice of any kind. I believe in the fair and equitable treatment of women. Does this make me a feminist? Maybe so. And I have the men in my life to thank for it because I could not be the woman that I am without them.

Read more: To All the Men I've Loved

By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu

The AIDS epidemic ravaging Africa and other parts of the developing world is no longer news. The horrific effects are being felt in every African country, so much so that the continent's leaders, who are not usually known for speedy action in the cause of human/social development, have had no choice but to sit up and take notice.

Read more: Misogyny of a Disease: African Women and HIV/AIDS

By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu

A friend of mine once said: "the only way to fix Nigeria's economy is to lock the whole country down and force Nigerians to produce what they consume and consume what they produce." It sounds so simplistic and I suppose it is on several levels. But the more I thought about it, the less outlandish an idea it became. In a country where we import everything from oil (and Nigeria being one of the world's largest oil producers too!) to water (Evian, anyone?), it doesn't take much of an imagination to see how "isolating" ourselves to could lead to greater self-sufficiency. I decided to carry my isolationist views a step further and apply it to international relations. What if Nigeria (and other developing nations by extension) were to sever their ties to the various international organizations that do them more harm than good and instead, focused on internal development? It worked for the United States in the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth so why not Africa?

Read more: International Organizations: Who Needs Them?

By Raliat Oluyemisi Sunmonu

Raliat Oluyemisi  Sunmonu "How long have you been away?"

"Fifteen years."

"Fifteen years?! How can you stand it? Don't you miss it? Aren't you ever going back?"

"Yes, I miss it, but you do what you have to. When I first came here, I told myself I would be back home in five years or less. Now here I am almost two decades and still counting. Am I ever going back? I don't know. Twelve years ago I could have given you a definite answer. Ten, five years ago, I would have told you yes without hesitation. Now? I just don't know."

Read more: Lamentations of the Exiled
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