Welp, it's only Gameweek 8 and I'm already giving you one post for the price of two. What can I say? I'm tired. Adulting is, like, a LOT.
But apparently, I'm not the only one who's tired. (Yes, ManU, I'm looking at you.) Can anyone tell me what's going on with them over at Old Trafford? Not that I'm complaining, it's one less team that City has to worry about, but still.
It looks like many people think it's all Ole's fault. In my football group chats, all I hear is Ole this, Ole that. Poor guy, his ears are probably ringing all day long.
My personal opinion? There's a little part of me that is glad that Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford has not been the talisman some people hoped it would be (yet). If that's because of Ole, then I say, "Ole, ole, ole, ole."
I'm sure United will make a comeback (maybe even against Atalanta), but for now, that chant is music to my ears.
You know what they say...slow and steady wins the race. (maybe. we'll see, lol.)
You guys, I think I might have a football addiction. When I tell you that I kept waking up the night before this match because I was so worried! When I tell you that I prayed for Man City like they are the ones paying my salary...
Should I be worried about myself? 😅😅
But this crazy, crazy, trippy week of Premier League football is why I'm addicted. Who could have predicted how this week would turn out?
That's also why FPL is a mad ting! People probably bought Ronaldo thinking ManU would win against Villa.
The one that even pain me pass is Luke Shaw. Not only did he play a paltry 33 minutes which gave me one FPL point, he proceeded to lose that point by getting a yellow card.
I don't even want to talk about Trent Alexander-Arnold. I paid a whole 7.5 million pounds for him and he has the audacity to only produce one point?
People are so ungrateful in this world. Now I know how the master in the Parable of the Talents felt when his servant buried the talent he gave him 👀
This was a crap week for me as a City fan in the PL and as a FPL manager. Absolute poop show.
Not sure there is much else to say. This week sucked. I have never seen my boys play so badly. I don't know what was said in the locker room or who said it, but Pep, please fix it.
Chelsea and Liverpool are legitimately scaring me now. They sit comfortably at the top of the table, inches away, and it feels like the Premier League title might be slipping away from City, my City... 😩
But I KNOW we will bounce back!
Shame will not let me share my picture this week. Y'all, it was BAD bad!
Champions League is back!!!
Yes, yes, I know this series is about the Premier League, but my big dilemma this week has been: watch a Champions League match or write this blog? Based on the date this blog article is coming to your screens, you can tell what choice I made.
But back to the Premier League...what an intense week of football it was!
I felt that classic football feeling of your heart beating out of your chest, your palms & armpits clammy with sweat, and your voice hoarse from screaming at the players.
Arsenal won their first game of the season. I don't care what anyone says; it's worth celebrating. Because I'm not going to lie to you, I thought the game might turn out to be Norwich's first win of the season.
Of course, my boys brought home the 3 points against Leicester, which was not easy at all. Playing against Leicester never is. Ask Chelsea (who lost the FA Cup to them)!
And finally, speaking of Chelsea, I have decided to end my months-long hatred of the Blues. Of course, I will probably still roll my eyes whenever I see Rudiger, but going forward, I will no longer hate-watch their fixtures. (God helping me).
Y'all...see God! I actually have above-average FPL points! What? What?? WHAT??!!!!
But...I have small bad luck with this FPL of a thing, sha. Why is it the week that I add Antonio as a forward that he goes and gets himself a red card and a -1 FPL score? He had literally been putting out double digit points up until this week!
Thank the Good Lord I did not make him my captain. Odo upon odo niyen.
Anyway, that's it for now, folks!
Sayonara...till Gameweek 5!
What a crazy week of action it has been! (both on and off the pitch...)
I don't claim to be an unbiased sports new source, so if you're looking for an exhaustive list, or even a normal list, of what teams bought which player in the nick of transfer window time, you won't find it here. Some of us ended this summer transfer window without a striker and are still a little sore about it. So if your team got the player you wanted (i.e., Cristiano Ronaldo to ManUnited) or your team got to keep the player you didn't want them to sell (i.e., Harry Kane for Tottenham), good for you. I guess we'll settle this on the football field.
Can I just say, I'm not particularly looking forward to facing Manchester United or Chelsea (or FREAKING PSG!!) over the next few weeks? Thank God De Bruyne and Foden will be back after the international break.
In some other off-the-football-field news, this Benjamin Mendy business is nasty, isn't it? One way or another, I pray the truth comes out and quickly too, for everyone's sake. I'm not giving a verdict since I know next to nothing about the particulars of the case, but honestly, sexual assault should not still be happening in 2021. Perhaps, we - as a society - need to start considering castration as a fitting punishment.
Rounding up my gameweek round-up with the Chelsea-Liverpool match, talk about a heated battle! Do I think Reese James deserved the red card? Heck yes. He was playing with that ball like he was a juggler. Of course, Anthony Taylor was going to give a red card. Disclaimer: it will be a below-freezing day in Miami before I root for Chelsea in any fixture, so it is possible I only saw what I wanted to see.
Either way, big thanks to Liverpool for taking those two points away from the Blues. Love to see it. Muhaha.
Deep breath y'all,
I'm so thankful for this international break because I might need to reset my FPL brain. Oh, I very much hate losing, but it's like as soon as a player gets on my team, they don't know how to win FPL points again. So frustrating!
I wish I could just put all City players on my FPL team and call it a day. All this stress of trying to guess the future is making my hair fall out (this is most likely because I'm procrastinating washing it, but I'd rather keep lying to myself).
City is back, baby! But that was always going to happen, so... 😝
But also, can we talk about what-the-actual-heck is going on with Arsenal?! I am not even an Arsenal fan and I get so frustrated watching them play. (Oh, that Chelsea fixture was so hard to watch). I don't know if it's that they don't want it or that they don't know how to want it.
The complacency is maddening because you know they can be better.
Please, Arsenal, if you're reading this, start trying again. We want to be excited to watch your fixtures.
But maybe start after you play my City boys next week...
Lastly, Harry Kane, na wa for you oh.
This below average point thing is ghetto.
You know what, I'm not even mad at it (yet). It's only Gameweek 2. It's just growing pains. IT'S JUST GROWING PAINS!
Mic check, one, two. Is this thing still working?
It's been a little longer than a while since I have done anything regular on this blog. With the Premier League beginning last week, and my first ever foray into FPL (Fantasy Premier League), I figured why not dust off the ol' bloggy blog and write about the haps of the world's favorite sport?
Yes, City is my club and I stand with them forever. Matchweek 1 was a bust, but we move. Maybe now Tottenham will sell Kane to us...
Can I also just say that we don't deserve the backlash we are currently getting for buying Grealish? Yes, we bought Grealish for £100M, and your team would too, if you had the money, so please miss us with that nonsense.
Also, all that talk about oil money is just so hypocritical, it makes my skin crawl. As if all the other club owners who made their money through real estate (aka gentrification) or through investing (aka oligarchy) are any better. Or as if basically the whole world doesn't use oil and its byproducts. If you think oil money is so dirty, next time you need fuel for your car, pour water in your gas tank, since it's so clean and free.*
I think the picture pretty much speaks for itself, y'all. I'm basically at the bottom (or second-to-the-bottom) of all my leagues, including at my job (which is 5x embarassing). But, we move.
Matchweek 2 is coming y'all. It's Ronke & City's time to shine!
*Obviously, I am being facetious. Renewable energy is the future and what we all need to work towards.
Over the past couple of years, I have wondered about my writing voice, about my place in the writing world. It is almost as existential a question as "who am I," so, true to form, it has been very crippling for me creatively. Then, I read The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives.
I thought I didn't have anything new to say. I thought, "everything that is worth saying has already been said or is currently being said." Then I read the The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives is a good book. The storyline is captivating, and I particularly enjoyed reading the individual perspectives of each of the characters.
However, if I had authored The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives, I would have written it in a completely different way. I would have emphasized different aspects than Lola Shoneyin did. For one, I definitely would not have been as explicitly sexual as she was. Perhaps, I might have given Iya Femi a redeeming quality or two.
Hear me well, this is not, at all, an indictment on Lola Shoneyin. It is merely a revelation for me. I do have something to say because I have a different perspective. I have different life experiences and I have a unique voice. It might not sound like Lola Shoneyin's or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's or Osar Adeyemi's, but it's mine.
It's Jesus trying to use me and my voice to say something, and for now, that is enough.
Running a business out of your home comes with a unique set of hurdles, like maintaining productivity, separating your personal and professional activities, and equipping yourself properly. One of the keys to overcoming these hurdles is creating a home office space that sets you up for success. Whether you are getting a new home or renovating your existing place, these five tips can help you get started out right.
1. Figure Out Your Workspace Needs
Begin by making a list of everything you will use your office space for. All of the design elements should flow from that list. Consider factors such as whether you will have clients coming to your office, what kind of phone system you require and how much space you need for storage. Ecwid points out that business basics, like a comfortable chair and appropriate desk, should keep you going strong for hours, going beyond aesthetics to meet ergonomic needs.
2. Keep Your Work and Personal Life Separate
Though you are working out of your home, keep your work-life and home life as separate as possible. There are some key reasons to do this. First, if you mix the two, it becomes easy for distractions to drag down your productivity or for work to completely consume your home life. As Psychology Today explains, the ability to multitask is really a myth, so ensure you have a space to focus on work.
Second, there are legal concerns. Mixing your personal and business finances can get you in hot water with the IRS. Plan on entirely separate accounts for your personal and professional finances.
Along the lines of separating personal and business assets, forming an LLC can help protect your personal assets from liability. If you need help navigating your state's laws but don't want to spend a lot of money on an attorney, consider using a formation service to set up your LLC.
Finally, it is vital to have private, secure storage for sensitive customer information. The last thing you want is for your company to get hacked and take a loss as a result. Be sure to follow protocols like proper password use and installing firewalls to keep sensitive data safe.
3. Set Ground Rules With Your Family
More family time can be a nice perk of working from home, but you need to set ground rules. Tell your family what hours you will be working and not to disturb you during those hours unless it cannot be avoided. Avoid working from areas of your home that are not designated workspaces. It will be easier for your family to separate your work time and family time if they don't have to guess when and where you are working.
4. Choose the Right Equipment
The guiding principles for your equipment selection should be function and comfort. You need to incorporate all the essentials to do your job, such as a phone system, computer, desk, chair, storage and office supplies. However, you also need to keep in mind that you will be spending a lot of time in your office space. Choose a comfortable, ergonomically correct workstation setup. If you have the budget and space, add some productivity boosters, such as a second monitor.
5. Decide If You Need To Move
If your current home cannot accommodate the changes you need to make to successfully set up a home office, you may need to work with a realtor to find a home that meets your needs. If budget is a potential barrier to relocating, ask about "as-is" properties. You will need to set aside some money to make needed repairs, but you can save some cash on the upfront cost by going this route. Make sure you review the seller's disclosures and have an inspection done.
Some "as-is" properties have hidden problems, such as structural damage, mold or pest infestations, that could significantly impact the cost of acquisition, so learn about what you could get into before going this route.
Your home office serves as your base of operations for everything you do for your business. Setting yourself up for success from the start with the right office in the right home will save you a lot of hassle down the road!
Guest Post by Tina Martin
I want to be seen.
The kind that sees beyond my brave face, my happy face, my sad face.
I think we all long for that.
To know, that in the middle of this craziness called life, just when you need it, someone is there with a wink that dissolves your frustrations and reminds you not to take life so seriously.
That your darkest thought, your flimsiest desire is heard, really heard, and you remain loved, in spite of it, maybe even because of it...because you let them see you.
That when you can't seem to catch a breath, without you uttering a word, someone sees and without uttering a word, knows exactly what to do to comfort you.
I think, to expect this from another human person is foolish.
Maybe even unfair.
We each have our own ish, building up inside us, blocking us from seeing anyone but ourselves, seeing any other world but our own.
And that's why, today, I'm grateful for the God who sees.*
I'm thankful I know the God who saw Hagar.
That He is the kind of God who sees a lowly servant girl, powerlessly caught in a scheme between two powerful people.
That He is the kind of God who makes you feel seen,
The One who delights in making sure that you know... sending angels and employing people, until you know that He sees you too.
I am in the waiting
And I hate it
When all you're wanting
Is what you were promised
And you know that Jesus is saying
It is coming
But all you're wanting
Is the actual timing
Of the promised something
So that you can mark it
On your calendar
Set a timer
So that you're knowing
Not just waiting
Not just wanting
Not just trusting
But you can hear Jesus saying
Trusting is knowing
Though your heart is racing
And your pulse is thrumming
And your body is itching
And you can almost taste the victory
Though other options
Fill your vision
As all your mates offer solutions
Just keep praying
Through the worrying
Just keep trusting
As if you're knowing
Just keep waiting
Though you hate it
Nigeria has an efficiency problem. It's why we have roads, but not good roads. We have electricity, but it is not constant. We have cell service, but it's unreliable. Oh, we have wireless Internet service, but it doesn't work. We have public schools, but they are not properly funded, so everyone who wants a good education is forced to scrape money together for private school. I could go on and on but I think we all know what I'm talking about. The whole system, is very half-assed. And SARS is merely an example of that half-assery.
The police unit, SARS, was formed in 1992 "to combat armed robbery with 'the element of surprise'" (Paquette, 2020). You know what this sounds like to me? Some Minority Report B.S. Nigerian police, at this time, could not even handle robberies that had already happened!
Many years ago, when I was about 6 or 7, my house in Ibadan was robbed. I remember that we went to the police station, but nothing came of it. We had to become our own FBI team: gathering a list of potential suspects and then making sure to stay away from them! This was the state of Nigerian police at the time! Yet...someone, somewhere, thought: "hmm, let's try to predict crime."
Unsurprisingly, the SARS unit morphed into a cancerous beast: a Yahoo boy- profiling unit that gathers suspects based on the color of their hair.
Instead of creating an intelligence-gathering agency to sniff out fraudsters on the internet platforms they actually use, SARS officials corner timid boys and girls for buying rice and pepper from their local market (this is an actual story on endsars.com).
It's the equivalent of going blindfolded to the grocery store to buy brown eggs.
What the people in power do care about though, why they refuse to turn their words into action is because they know that if they implement the changes demanded by the protesters, they concede their power.
Women are raped. Men are pummeled and bludgeoned to death. Even if a person was a burglar, a criminal or a scammer, they still don't deserve to be treated the way SARS treats innocent people.
The Former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, had the effrontery to say that social media is for "criminally minded Nigerians." This is the man that was in charge of all police in Nigeria. Well, if that's the case, doofus, why didn't you focus on gathering evidence on actual criminals on social media since that's where they are?
Here's the stone-cold truth: The government does not particularly care if SARS is disbanded or dissolved or ended or whatever new synonym the Inspector General of police decides to use. That's why they are quick to (and have been quick to since 2017) verbally dissolve them on national and international television. What the people in power do care about though, why they refuse to turn their words into action, is because they know that if they implement the changes demanded by the protesters, they concede power, and they can't have that.
Well, we are coming for you, pathetic excuses for leaders. We are coming for you.
SARs is not just a youth problem, it's an everyone issue. This is where we say enough is enough.
If you're wondering how to help, please visit endsars.carrd.co
You can also join @limoblaze_'s prayer walks/protests. Tweet #EndSars and #SarsMustEnd. Pray like crazy. Join protests. Move heaven and earth because as children of God, we can do it.
Paquette, R. (2020, October 11). Nigeria abolishes special police squad after nationwide protests. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/nigeria-sars-police-robbery-end-sars/2020/10/10/999e2400-0a48-11eb-991c-be6ead8c4018_story.html
Image credit: Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit on Twitter)
The Netflix film, Cuties, generated much controversy even before it was released on the platform. My take: Cuties would work in a perfect world, but our world is anything but.
Here's what I mean: if Cuties could be released exclusively to an audience of only adult women, it works. It creeps me out to think of a guy, any guy, watching this film. In this imperfect world of ours where fathers rape daughters and uncles touch little girls inappropriately, I am disgusted with the thought of those kinds of men watching these pre-pubescent girls twerk.
Yet, that is the philosophical dilemma of societal commentary: in an attempt to comment on the hypersexualized world that we live in, Cuties, itself, is hypersexualized. And when I say hypersexualized, I really, really mean it.
Aminatu and the other girls in the Cuties dance group break out some sexualized moves I have not even seen grown women do.
A Short Synopsis for those who haven't seen it:
Cuties follows the story of an eleven-year-old girl, Amy Diop, who has just moved into a new housing project in Paris along with her mother and two little brothers. We learn that her father is back in Senegal, taking a new, younger wife and will be joining them soon. Amy seeks solace in a girl dance group called "Cuties." The Cuties are desperate to prove they are not little girls. They bare their midriffs, dance suggestively, and use curse words. Throughout the film, we see Amy struggle to balance her home life and her Muslim-Senegalese upbringing with the dramatic "freedom" that the Cuties' lifestyle seems to offer.
A Critical Look At Cuties
Westernization (West is Better) Narrative
1. The protagonist's name is Aminatu. If it is to be shortened, the spelling should be "Ami," not the Western-friendly "Amy." Yet, even the Netflix subtitles have it as "Amy." Aminatu and her family are newcomers. It's unclear whether they are new to that particular area (housing project) of Paris or if they just arrived from Senegal, the latter being more likely. Either way, Aminatu is new to the area, new to the school, and she does not even get the dignity of having her name spelled right. In Aminatu's first direct interaction with the Cuties, they accost her: throwing her books to the ground and calling her names, among which is "Senegal."
Of course, Aminatu internalizes this "West is Better" narrative and adopts her Western identity. On her social media page, Aminatu spells her name "Amy." Every immigrant with a non-Western name can relate to Aminatu's experience. As someone with a non-Western name, it is interesting to see the director, Maïmouna Doucouré, commit the same blunder she seems to be critiquing.
2. In pop culture, there is an existing narrative that Western culture equals "free" and "uninhibited" while non-Western culture/families are negatively portrayed as "conservative" and "restrictive." And of course, in this narrative, Western is better, sending a clear message to non-Western people that "if you can just be Western, you will be happy."
Doucouré initially plays into this dichotomy: Amy is laughing and care-free when she is wearing crop tops and rehearsing with the Cuties; Amy is stone-faced as she sits through another prayer lesson Then, Doucouré dismantles the narrative:
When we first meet Aminatu, she takes the time to torture her little brother with ghost stories so he can sleep; she playfully portions out cereal for him. She even takes the time to tuck her baby brother to sleep. This is "restrictive" non-Western Aminatu.
When Amy becomes "free," her mother falls to the ground in a faint and Amy cannot even be bothered to get up from the dinner table. She locks her little brother in a bathroom for (probably) hours so he doesn't bother her and her new friend. She steals from her mother, pushes one of her "friends" into the river so she could take her place in the dance team, and posts naked pictures. This is Western Amy.
Doucouré cleverly draws a comparison between Amy and Aminatu and asks the viewer to judge: who is really "happy"?
I don't know, I think I'd take Aminatu.
Portrayal and Treatment of Women/Girls
1. But life's not perfect for Aminatu either. And this is arguably what pushes her to be a Cutie. After all, if her mother - who was doing everything right - could still lose her husband to a second wife, what was the point of being a "good" woman?
Although only eleven, Aminatu was already being groomed to be a "woman" and in so many African (pardon my generalization), that usually comes with a ton of responsibility. Less than five minutes into the film, Amy has to sit with much older women as they listen to an off-camera speaker expound on the importance of piety and virtue while Ismaeli, her little brother, sits only a few feet away engaging in carefree play.
Right after this, Aminatu walks in on a girl her age dancing with the same care-freedom Ismaeli has (because he's a boy) and Aminatu is fascinated with the idea of being so unencumbered, so "apparently" childish.
Of course, we'd come to see that the dancing is anything but childish.
2. Mariam's - Aminatu's mother - situation is the plight of so many women in West Africa. Although hurt and embarrassed by her husband's decision to take another wife, she is forced to bury her emotions, her thoughts, her self because (in our society) that's what it means to "be a real woman." Afterall, a "real" woman is one that is perfectly fine with her husband sleeping with another woman just down the hall from her children's room.
2. On Hypersexualization
I don't think I can ever watch another music video without wondering if the video girl is gyrating to the music because she wants to or because she thinks she has to. I think the saddest part of this whole film is the hypocrisy that it reveals in our society. We live in a society where "sex sells," and not much is done to protect little children from that. So to be completely affronted and shocked when little girls mimic what they see on their television screens or on the trending section of YouTube is not just hypocritical, it is a little sad. Banning Cuties would not solve the societal problem of hypersexuality but in true hegemonic fashion, anything that shines a light on the dark underbelly of society must go.
Cuties is an educational film. Doucouré does a fantastic job commenting on so many aspects of society: the oppression of women, hypersexualization, immigrant struggles, even bulimia. At one point, she shows Yasmine forcing herself to throw up in the bathroom before she rejoins the Cuties, commenting on the horrific societal standard that a girl (in this case, Yasmine) can only be a part of the group if she is skinny.
Yet, the ending of the film leaves a little much to be desired. Aminatu' story is resolved too quickly and there are no consequences for her behavior. She posts a nude picture of herself online and almost drowns a person, but because the last scene shows her wearing age-appropriate clothes and playing jump rope, all is forgiven and forgotten?
Cuties both works and it doesn't. The director falls into the same traps she is criticizing but at least she shines a light on this broken part of our society. We can do better. Our black girls deserve better.
"The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old."
I was reading Proverbs 20 earlier this morning when I came across this verse. And I was reminded that every season of life is important. If we look for it, there truly is beauty in every moment.
In our current social media culture where a glimpse into someone else's life is just a click away, it is so easy to engage in the toxic act of comparing.
People with 20k followers can't wait till they have a 100k.
Those who are single pringles can't wait to get married.
And those who are married can't wait to have kids... the list goes on.
We spend our life wishing and waiting for the next big thing, ignoring what we have in our hands right now. Moses went from a shepherd to the leader of a nation, and it all started with his shepherd's staff. In Exodus 4, the Lord asked him: "what is in your hand?" This simple shepherd staff would go on to have a starring role in one of the biggest miracles ever: parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14:16).
I guess my point is that what you have right now is valuable. As a young person, the strength in your bones is valuable. Enjoy it, use it. And if you are older, you have an indisputable wisdom that comes with experience. Appreciate it, use it.
Enjoy where you are today, my loves, because it doesn't last forever.
There's beauty in every moment that God created because God created it. See it, believe it, trust it.
Chadwick always seemed larger than life. His infectious smile lit up the screen and sort of just warmed your heart. His work inspired us to dream, to dare, to be more. 42 was the first film about black history in America that I ever saw, and when Black Panther was released in 2018, I had never been more proud to be black.
Chadwick was the epitome of black excellence. He showed us that being black is a gift long before the world said it was okay to be black.
Chadwick, thank you. It was a privilege to watch you. We will miss you on our screens. We will miss you in our hearts, but I couldn't be more thankful that you are in a better place where colon cancer can never hurt you again. You're with the One who loves you more than life itself and that makes me happy.
All posts by Ronke (unless otherwise indicated)