Wednesday 31 December 2014

A Blogger's Year - 2014 in selected blogs

Blogging highlights of 2014
This is what the year 2014 was on my blog, with a blog or blogs from each month of the year.
In January, I completed the celebration of a decade of blogging with the publication of 35 blogs written by friends from the 8th of December 2013.

In February, I continued my concerns about the alleged human-trafficking exclusive apparently investigated by Tobore Mit Ovuorie and published by the Premium Times, my conclusion; the human trafficking stories were true, but none of them were Ms Ovuorie's personal story or experience.

In March, I wrote about many life topics but one was inspired by William Shatner, popular for being the captain of Starship Enterprise in the Star Trek series and yet declined a real opportunity to travel to space.

In April, Why? Was the question and the answers were unacceptable. Why are so many young ethnic minority LGBT persons homeless?
Also, it was when I wrote a series of Save The Children blogs (Part I, Part II, Part III), one of which was related to the abducted Chibok Girls. The plight of the Chibok girls became the global social media campaign to #BringBackOurGirls, sadly, the girls have not yet returned.

In May, I wrote a few personal blogs, some on my work life, however, I cannot make the case enough to separate the religion and state, consequently the need to remove the criminalisation of religious opinion, especially apostasy and blasphemy.

In June, I donned the orange colour of the Netherlands for the World Cup, in my view they had the best chance from the choice of England, Nigeria and well my adopted country of the Netherlands where I lived from almost 13 years.
I was also in Berlin for my annual summer visit which usually falls during the Christopher Street Day parades, the name for the gay prides in German speaking countries of Europe. Yet, we must never forget the persecution and the disease.
Street prostitution, homelessness and Nigerians were some of my Berlin topics.

In July, I was in Dublin for a wedding; I never really got to write about my sightseeing, I guess it calls for another visit.
I guess the coming out of Ian Thorpe was most significant, and then came Apple’s CEO Tim Cook in October with his article for Bloomberg Business Week. I really should have written about that too.

In August, it was a different kind of coming out, Kellie Palace Maloney who we once knew as Frank Maloney, the boxing promoter.
Yet, there was a personal story too, when suicide did cross my mind. I took a well-deserved holiday with my friend of 30 years.

In September, many holiday stories, just 11 days because my friend thought two weeks was too long to be away, that was the compromise, and for me, it was too short. Phew!
If only we all had parent who were as perceptive and understanding as those of Gareth Thomas, not only on the issue of sexuality, but other issues that present difficulty, trivial to many, yet quite serious to us as individuals.

In October, as a blogger, I could not stand by and watch as the most popular blogger in Nigeria was accused of plagiarism. Much as I am happy to share material I have written, the simple courtesy of asking rather than stealing is all that matters.
Unfortunately, as with many issues that are blatantly wrong in other societies but acquiesced to, accepted and celebrated in Nigeria, the outrage was short-lived, the gossip reincarnated as more sophisticated player at thievery. C’est la vie.
Despite the drama, in my view it was still about plagiarism and it should be fought and defeated everywhere including in Nigeria regardless of who is involved.

In November, I co-hosted with Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim a conversation with Boko Haram knowledge expert and journalist, Ahmad Salkida with the hashtag #WhatDoesBHWant, a very insightful discussion that attracted extensive global interaction, in days, it generated over 3,000 tweets, it was probably the most discussed topic of that week.

In December, the race to ensure I publish more blogs than I did in 2012, I have not prospect of catching up with 2013.
I look forward to many dates in December; I always try to write something for World AIDS Day, then one for the anniversary of my blogging, it was the 11th one, this time. My birthday came on the 21st with Bisi Alimi hosting a party in my honour, Tokunbo Koiki, Kola Akinola, Babatunde Rosanwo and Olushola Ajayi came with friends, drinks, food and gaiety to make it a wonderful day to remember.

A summary of 2014
The year 2014 was a rotten year for girls and women [Boko Haram abducting the Chibok girls and the judicial travesties of Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani trials in South Africa].
Terrorists created a state of anarchy, caliphates, they said, a state nonetheless within sovereign states with little consequence [Boko Haram and ISIS doing well in North-Eastern Nigeria and Iraq/Syria respectively.]
Incompetence and impunity set up stall in Nigeria, ministers and advisers making it up on international television, lying through their teeth about vaccinations for Ebola and the Nigeria Army in pursuit of well-armed terrorists, the army was equipped with the equivalent of cudgels. When the soldiers protested, they were numbered for execution.
Vladimir Putin became the Napoleon Bonaparte of the 21st Century, vertically challenged and challenging order bringing ruin to Ukraine and by extension the shooting down of MH17, the despots of Africa still sit on their thrones dispensing suffering to the people in the name of leadership.
A church guesthouse collapsed on over 80 South Africans in Nigeria and the prophet of doom has stood in the way of justice, we may never know why.
Just an increasing sense of injustice and carnage with every criminal getting away with it, including the gangster bankers or Banksters to be more exact, they have been paying fines and resigning rather than going to jail.
Yet, some celebrated release and freedom by accepting who they are, coming out and encouraging others. Selfless healthcare workers went to the Ebola stricken countries to help out; there is still faith in our humanity.
Let us hope for a better 2015, elections in many countries the results of which might spell doom rather than hope, yet since God is not a democrat, people have to get out to vote for posterity rather than for a perishable morsel for their bellies.
I hope to continue blogging, probably be more prolific than this year.
Friends, readers, far and near, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.
Thank you.

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