Thursday 31 December 2015

2015: My year in blogs

Bringing up a year in review
My blogging year has not been as prolific as I would have liked it to be. In the year that I marked both twelve years of blogging and my golden jubilee, I have barely written a blog for every two days.
This is not for the want of something to write, a lot happened in 2015 that would have elicited opinion and fed inspiration, but lethargy, Writer’s block and much else has militated against getting things out as one would have liked.
Yet, the year has not been without event and these are some of the highlights.
In January, I learnt of the passing of a good friend and mentor, John Coll, he had died just before Christmas, then as I celebrated landmark birthdays of friends, Kola Akinola and Bisi Alimi, the news broke of the coming out of Kenny Badmus and his struggles with melding his sexuality with societal demands in Nigeria.
However, the highlight must be with regards to Kenny Badmus’ wife, there was a need to see things from her own perspective and the others affected too. Then someone left a comment that she had passed on, leaving me with questions – How did she die? Did she know Kenny Badmus was HIV+ through their relationship? What will become of many women unwittingly married to men on the down-low?
In February, I was in the midst of changing hospitals and hence doctors, my impressions compared to what I experienced in the Netherlands made it look like I have returned to the Victoria age.
However, I returned to another theme in my blogs, childhood experiences reawakened by recent events, things we seem to have left in the recesses of memory until situation or occasion brings them back to the fore. Children have deep life-changing experiences that parents sometimes fail to notice, or when they do, they fail to act appropriately leading to catastrophic consequences.
In March, I had written 2,500 blogs and then highlighted two instances of an entitlement complex in terms of anti-social behaviour and knowing how to seek help to getting the help needed.
However, Nigeria was in the grip of election fever and bringing out the worst of political acolytes, especially those with online newspapers who decided not to let the truth or the facts get in the way of a sensational story that suits their propagandist aims. It was shameful, dishonest and very sad.
In April, I took the opportunity to visit somewhere new, I went to Bucharest, the capital of Romania and it was an enlightening experience.
Meanwhile, the government in Nigeria was due to change hands, I could not help but address the real matter of Goodluck Jonathan being a good man.
In South Africa, Dr Dick continued the history of South African medical firsts. Dr Dick had performed a full penile transplant and reports were, it was functioning as required.
Yet as the UK prepared for a general election, it was the Ukip claims about refugees costing the NHS and their atrocious besmirching of the dignity of Bisi Alimi that called for a more human face beyond this rottenness.
Bisi Alimi went to Nigel Farage’s constituency, spoke to people and went on the street to hug people, putting a human face on the elections. The end result is, Nigel Farage did not win the election, we can say, thanks to Bisi showing up.
In May, it was angst and much else, the feuds amongst kith, disagreements escalated to the point that one decided to disconnect.
However, it was my first visit to Africa in a quarter of a century reluctantly, I went to South Africa on behalf of my client company, I cannot say I enjoyed the experience and we achieved little in the end.
In June, I found myself reflecting on many things, on finding love, on a lived experience and my expectations of old-fashioned values today.
Caitlyn Jenner took the world by storm by declaring herself transsexual, with that came a campaign to repudiate all she had achieved before as a man. That, I thought was a rotten and wrong-headed campaign, we cannot wipe away the achievements of our past just because our present circumstances have changed.
In July, I guess I have not written many political blogs in 2015, but I could not help but flesh out the piggyback exculpation device deployed by the Nigerian ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources on the matter of her alleged corrupt activities.
However, with the refugee and migrant crisis at our border with France in Calais, one story could not be ignored, Mouaz al-Balkhi and Shadi Omar Kataf from Syria, saw the deceptively close white cliffs of Dover from Calais, donned wetsuits and jumped into the English Channel.
Their bodies were discovered on beaches of the Netherlands and Norway. They to me illustrated the sense of desperation people had to seek a better life away from war and destruction in their homelands.
In August, back to my childhood and issues with difficult relations with family, the unspoken and more of the really unspeakable. There were blogs I had planned to write on the content of Dr Atul Gawande’s 2014 Reith Lectures, one of which was on charting your own course.
However, it was the matter of identity and the requirements others place on us to identify in a particular way that got me writing about what some artist said about Barack Obama not being ‘black’ enough.
In September, again, I found myself reflecting again on what I had become, my experiences defining who I am and more along those lines.
Yet, I had to remember more clearly when I did face death, just 6 years ago.
In October, I was already in the losing battle of writing as many blogs as I wrote the year before, I only managed to write 8 in this month and really, I wonder if there was much significant to highlight in that month.
Maybe, putting context into my typical working day or working life is worth looking at.
In November, I returned to South Africa and it was a much better experience, I simply found ways to cope and made the best of the situation. Back to family and my own struggles on that account.
I had some thoughts on Sharm el-Shiekh, but in Nigeria the plight of children, the need for autopsies and we just need to get the issue of sexual assault properly accounted for, before the law, for the victims and against the perpetrators.
In December, with many celebrations as 12 years of blogging, my 50th birthday, World AIDS Day and my experiences in South Africa.
On South Africa, many things were not right, yet, there were stories so compelling told in the experience of Tom Moses as an inmate of Robben Island.
However, my views of South Africa all came down to one word, Rubbish!
And So
I may not have identified a theme in my year of blogging, but I opened up about many things in my life, celebrated struggles and triumphs, all with gratitude and thankfulness at the many opportunities I had to tell my own kind of story.
I hope 2016 brings a more rewarding year of happiness, health, wealth, success, blessing, friendship and love.
Have a wonderful, happy, prosperous New Year.

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