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An Interview about Blood Contract

Hello everyone,
Today, I am talking to Biola Olatunde, author of the book Blood Contract. I was thrilled when I met Biola on a social networking site because she is a writer and a Yoruba writer at that. Because I researched Nigeria and especially the Yoruba culture for my Fahdamin-Ra series, I could tell immediately that she was Yoruba by her name. When we started corresponding back and forth, I found that she is an extremely talented woman with a long list of accomplishments, such as being the producer of a small independent production company, a writer many scripts and a producer for radio and television programs, as well as writing and producing plays, and a published author. She also runs a small concierge service that takes tourists around to interesting places in Nigeria. I don’t think that she ever sleeps!

I was fascinated by her book, Blood Contract, so I quickly acquired it and dove in right away. It is about a man named Kenawari, who lives in Port Harcourt, a city in Nigeria, but not at the Izon village where he came from. He has married a white American woman, started a family, and for fifteen years, he thought that he left his old life far behind. However, Ken ends up being sent home to the Niger Delta to investigate a kidnapping at his home village. The story is an unfolding mystery as the reader learns more about the present day case that Kenawari is involved with, as well as uncovering the secrets of Ken’s past and why he left the Izon, never intending to return. He meets new people in the tribe as well as people from his past, in a mysterious area that is shadowed with old secrets.

Before I read the book, I was unfamiliar with the Izon tribe and life in the Niger Delta swamps, but Biola tells the story so skillfully that I was soon there with Ken, thoroughly absorbed in the plot and characters. I love how she tells a thoughtful story of the turmoil in a man’s life while showing us a people who struggle to survive.
Now, let’s hear from Biola:

What inspired you to write Blood Contract?
That is an interesting question Chaz, I wanted to correct an impression amongst my people that everyone who lived in the Niger Delta was a militant. I had met quite a number of them and found them fiercely devoted to their watery seascape. They are generally hardworking, stoic and taciturn. I had a chance to live amongst a particular tribe of the Niger Delta and learned to respect them. I wanted to present them as the same as every other Nigerian with more reasons to question the rationale of being part of an entity that does not recognize them as equal partners
Your main character, Kenawari, is from one of the 250+ tribes in Nigeria, a different one from your own. How did you become familiar with the Izon tribe of the Niger Delta?
I worked with one of them as a broadcaster. Being of a curious nature I wanted to know his people and at first, he was suspicious but gradually saw I was sincere so he would tell me about his tribe. The Izon makes for the fourth largest tribe in my country and the richest in its resources of oil and gas. It is, however, the most neglected part of the country until recently.
What message in Blood Contract do you want your readers to grasp?

Essentially, the message of Blood Contract is a social commentary of humanity’s failure to recognize fundamental rights of everyone, to dream, and work towards having that dream actualized. The human society is the same everywhere. Being a member of a part of the world that has been stereotyped as backward, it was ironic that we also discriminate against ourselves. I thought it was dumb to do that, human beings have a right to be rational and the demands of the izon and tribes of the Niger Delta was genuine. I also did not want to write a romantic story of the bad guy and the good guy but wanted to show that the society we live in accommodates all. The good, the bad and the ugly.
The difficulties that Ken goes up against – the poverty, the robber barons, and kidnappings that happen in his village – are those problems present in the Izon tribe today?
Of course, those problems still exist not only in my country and in the Niger Delta but in every part of the world I imagine. We have not found Utopia yet anywhere I reckon. Kidnappings have gone on even in other tribes and armed robbers have become really daring, but not as a result of being Izon but as a consequence of the imbalance in the world generally.
You can purchase Blood Contract from my publishers IFWG PUBLISHING.COM

These books of Biola Olatunde are now available in Nigeria.
Blood Contract
Numen Yeye
Rose of Numen
Numen!
You can also buy them from the following places
KTC @Akure shopping mall Akure.
Sunshine booksellers.com University of Ibadan
Leading bookshops in Akure
biolaephesus.com

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Let us be sincere

Let us be sincere with the children too.
A lot of us tend to boast as parents that we were picture perfect children tour own parents. We tell our own children how butter never melted in our mouths and how we were model children.
A parent sent me this and I read through carefully looking for the logs in my own eyes first. I thought I should share with you. Parenting apparently has been an issue since from the time of Adam and Eve.
Tirukkural by Tiruvalluvar (a Tamil poet/writer) was written more than 5,000 yrs ago. It’s one of the ancient science on Human Behaviour, which has not changed in spite of modern education & technology!*

*SOME GOLDEN THOUGHTS OF THIRUKKURAL:*

1. *If your child lies to you often, it is because you over-react too harshly to their inappropriate behaviour.*

2. *If your child is not taught to confide in you about their mistakes, you’ve lost them.*

3. *If your child had poor self-esteem, it is because you advice them more than you encourage them.*

4. *If your child does not stand up for themselves, it is because from a young age you have disciplined them regularly in public.*

5. *If your child takes things that do not belong to them, it is because when you buy them things, you don’t let them chose what they want.*

6. *If your child is cowardly, it is because you help them too quickly.*

7. *If your child does not respect other people’s feelings, it is because instead of speaking to your child, you order & command them.*

8. *If your child is too quick to anger, it is because you give too much attention to misbehaviour & you give little attention to good behaviour.*

9. *If your child is excessively jealous, it is because you only congratulate them when they successfully complete something & not when they improve at something even if they don’t successfully complete it*

10. *If your child intentionally disturbs you, it is because you are not physically affectionate enough.*

11. *If your child is openly defiant, it is because you openly threaten to do something but don’t follow through.*

12. *If your child is secretive, it is because they don’t trust that you won’t blow things out of proportion.*

13. *If your child talks back to you, it is because they watch you do it to others & think its normal behaviour.*

14. *If your child doesn’t listen to you but listens to others, it is because you are too quick to jump to conclusions*

15. *If your child rebels it is because they know you care more about what others think than what is right*

*Pls fwd this to Parents who care to read this!*
*IT MAY GUIDE OUR MODERN PARENTING!*
*Positive Parenting!*

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Learning Lessons

Hello everyone,
I am sharing my fortieth year as a writer. It was a bit surprising when my husband noted thatthis year makesit the fortieth year of my writing experience.
So I had to ask myself a few questions. what has been my experience. I live in a country where the reading culture had been bastardised.
What have I achieved in all the 40 years? Is it worth celebrating?
Given the country I live in,I have grown a lot, my writing skills has improved. In recognition of that length of time, I changed the look of my website. made a conscious effort to reflect on what has moved me through the years.
I am bit surprised to note that I have always been socially conscious, from my romantic plays, to my detective series as well as so many other stories. I even wrote horror stories which recently changed forms to religious and fantasy.
I have published quite a number of novels, poetry and produced plays.
I am musing today and will share in the weeks to come my stories, rationale and lessons learned.Meanwhile let me share this with you
TREAD SOFTLY

Don’t get lost
In the weft of threads
Don’t swim west
From the heat of sweat
Don’t make mounds
From life’s hounds
Search through the chaff
From the flowing stream
Each clap of thunder
Each sighing hiss
Of the fierce lightning
Evidence of streaming light
Follow the rainbow stream
And friend, you’ll be home.

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Talking about sexuality… Ready or scared?

Will you really talk about it?

Your child at any given point needs to be reassured that they will not be judged, distrusted when they tell us things. You know how it is that we are suspicious of most things they tell us. We sense that that they have the edge over us and in our helpless recognition, we suspect every sentence they tell us. Right? I know because I have experienced it too, with my mother and with my children. One would assume that if you had experienced the pain of telling your mother the truth and she stares at you withat look that tells you, she is wondering if you are normal, obviously she doesn’t believe a word you have said. Remember the inward helpless sigh and then you gradually go quiet as you experience that sinking feeling of despair and you ask yourself, “why bother?”

The most difficult subject to discuss amongst parents and children is their sexuality. Both sides of the divide never really feel comfortable talking about sexuality. As parents we know everything and nothing. We speculate, are worried and mask our concern with threats, dire warnings, hold conversation in our head with the child and we are shocked when we know deep within us that we are anxious. There is a longing to have a dream child, who knows exactly what we want and like some automaton simply fits into place.

We seem to forget that we were not dream children to our parents and had given our own parents anxious moments too.

Most times children can’t bring themselves to discuss their sexuality issues with us, because they don’t want to be teases, punished, or judged  if they ask most of the questions that keeps them awake. Yes, just like you , children do want to know they have your goodwill . Children want to feel they are trusted. But how are they tomanage the peer pressure that they experience?

So how do we make effective communication between us and the child we love so much and had prayed for?

How do we know what to say, when we should say it?, correct misinformation, and even use the teachable moments?

Making effective communication is a requirement every parent should learn how to do always.

We will still continue on this subject next time.

Please send questions

Here are some of mine

How much will be too much?

Can we talk about this?

Am I making my child promiscuous if I mention the word sexuality?

Do I really know all the answers?

When is the right age to talk about sexuality?

How do I start?

Watch out for the next post

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Who is the adolescent?

Who is the adolescent really?
Have you ever felt real frustration talking to your child and she looks at you blankly for as long as you were ‘yakking’, then she sighs and asks you what is the next thing you want?
Both of you know at that moment that you have wasted each other’s time. There is a tiny sense of despondency within you for you know the message you want to pass is very vital but you just can’t seem to get it through her thick head right.?
Don’t give up, and assume that a demon may have possessed her or you ascribe the issues to a relative or the other.
Every parent at some level needs to be an effective parent and as much as it is instinctive for some, it is for the most part an art you need to acquire too. I know most parents really need to be communicative in teaching the child the different realities of life and you must teach it well before you assume you have done your best. It is not going to be enough to put your hands up in the air, give up and consign your child to the influences of others who really don’t care.
Why do you need to talk with your child anyway? How about considering these reasons?
• As a parent, you have the most influence over your child
• Your child trusts you
• Your child needs to know facts about its sexuality very early in its growing years, we hear cases of child abuse, young girls taken off and married off. We must learn what they should know, and it is now urgent
• Children particularly teenagers face a lot of peer pressure, it is not enough to just bark orders, you must learn to talk more, listen and guide.
• It is an opportunity to help the child build values, and ethics that will serve the child. If you have family values, this is the time to start passing it on.
• You must have the facts, not the myths always so that your child can trust the information you pass on.
• You will need to pass information in teachable and comfortable way, to allow your child understand that the information is in the child’s best interest. Don’t fall into the temptation of giving dire warnings and issuing threats. It does not work.
• Children are naturally inquisitive and will explore things, test your facts and your value system against what they read, pick up from the internet, learn to be one step ahead as much as you can.
• Your child need to know that you are always seeking for information that will be helpful for it and it creates trust if you are willing to tell your child that you will find out about a subject. Don’t act the ‘know it all’ parent.
• As a parent, you should be the first to educate your child about sexuality issues. Remove the mystery and simply be factual so the child builds self respect and personal value system
• Know your child, it is important to be aware of the child’s weaknesses, concerns and let the child know you trust the child to overcome these weaknesses and give your child the sensing that you know the strengths and highlight those strength often to the child.
• Negative media messages are threats to your child’s self esteem, counter these messages by always giving the correct facts. We all have different body shapes and a girl watching ultra slim celebrities will be under peer pressure. Explain to your child that the body evolves and there are different body shapes for different personalities.
Contrary to what we think sometimes, not all adolescents are on the make and getting through to them, discussing their bodies with them in a relaxed and easy manner helps them over their confusions and might also give you a handle on living with your child. It is not okay to give very dire warnings every time or threaten that you feel the child is going to come to grief one of these days. We should show faith, constant trust and be ‘available ‘ always.
On one last point, our shop will open soon and you might want to browse through to pick up a few things.
We will talk very soon and if you do like what you have read so far, why don’t you subscribe so we simply drop our next chat in your mail box and you can remain current.
Finally we will love to have your contributions and comment as well.
Remember, every parent was once a child.