Tag Archive | Society

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Anger and Shame

There are posts that I read now and again and I’m at such loss to express my thoughts which is a rarity.

Chastity breached – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge.

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Harsh reality destroys innocence. Jacqueline

Chastity breached;

innocence is stolen;

when no eyes were looking.

Bewildered child-hood;

bore pain of betrayal;

with the mask of innocence.

Beneath multi-layers;

lies an embittered spirit;

deprived of girlhood innocence. 

It’s never a comfortable topic to write about the abuse of the girl-child and even grown women and an issue most would like to wish away and hide under the veil of humour. Yet, the statistics and spate of abuse and violation of females are horrendous.

A lot of times, violation comes from close quarters. These incidents leave a not so strong female broken, disillusioned, embittered and bearing the burden of guilt and shame. Her silence costs her everything and it takes a lot of grace for a victim to overcome the burden of violation.

Society has not helped by casting silent and even vocal blame on victims, thereby making their burden a lot heavier and their silence more ominous.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Innocence – #WQWWC


out-of-the-silent-breath 2

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Suicide and the Artful Mastery of Self-Deceit – Stream of consciousness Saturday.

It was startling and extremely disheartening to learn that a friend’s husband committed suicide three days ago. He shot himself and it wasn’t by mistake. It was a premeditated action.

To say the least, my mind meandered from pillar to post. I couldn’t even begin to fathom the horror his wife and daughter must be living through. I couldn’t even begin to think of how brokenhearted they must be.SoCS badge 2015

It’s a nightmare that never goes away. The questions of ‘why’ will forever dance around in their heads. The first question that popped into my mind was equally why and the second question as foolish as it might sound was ‘how did he get a gun?’ 

Guns are not easily obtained back home in Nigeria and I have only ever had a gun close to me when armed robbers pointed it to my head and I found myself staring into the nozzle of the gun and praying as fast as I could in my mind.

Jokes apart, I stared my death in the face and I grew cold. I know that it’s Grace and Mercy that saved me. That Grace and Mercy stopped the robber from going trigger happy and coldheartedly shooting me.

In my ruminations, I realised that for a partner or anyone to decide to take his/her life then their sense of despair must have been horrendously hopeless. It’s just sad. It also makes me realise that a lot of artful concealing of emotions and self-deceit must have played a role until things got out of control.

The worst deceit that one can indulge in is the artful deceit of self. Indulging in such cover-up cheats one of the ability to be true to themselves and to reach out for the help they need. The saying ‘fake it until you make it,’ has always made me ask the question, to what extent should someone fake it until they have to pause and take stock of their fakery?

How long should one walk around wearing an artfully decorated mask that smiles, laughs, chit-chats and conceals the pain going on behind their mask? There are days that I felt a small wild animal growling in my head about one thing or the other but yet, I apply my gloss, wear my glad rags and get on with my to-do list like the World is all bright and beautiful. However, I’ve learnt to express and share my emotions when I feel overwhelmed and it’s not only cathartic to do so, but also offers the opportunity to hear good counsel as well.

Here was an upwardly mobile young man, who by all appearances had things going well for him, but for some reason, his thoughts fell apart to such an extent that he felt suicide is the only way forward. If he had sought help is it possible that he wouldn’t have resorted to this?

In core African societies, mental ill health is grossly overlooked and neglected and it’s almost seen as a taboo to insinuate that a person has Bipolar disorder or PTSD. Its results are far-reaching though suicide is not particularly a common phenomenon possibly due to the strong social and family system in existence, nonetheless, the dearth of professional care in this regards especially with the increasing level of stress and societal dysfunction in our present World makes this a cause for concern.

SOC’s prompt for this week coincided with my thoughts on the art of masking emotions based on the suicide incident.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


P.S. You are cordially invited to our monthly blog party happening right now. Join in through this link.

Below is my first Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha’s poems portray images that stare us right in the face. Images of love, joy, death, pain, challenges, violation, and freedom. She writes in a language that’s rich in imagery, earthy, honest, vulnerable, yet full of the promise of hope, of loving and of Grace. A collection of light and dark soulful prose.

No Seconds! Streams of consciousness Saturday.

I like second helpings to sweet desserts and second chances when it’s possible to redo things that I didn’t get right the first time and possibly avoid making the same mistake a second time, but I would never accept the concept of being treated as a SECOND-CLASS citizen and no one else should.

Irrespective of colour, creed, sex or wealth no one should subject and treat others as second class citizens or even less than humans when their lives are not more important than that person’s own. SoCS badge 2015

Seconds after watching some stomach churning video’s on racism I totally wished that I hadn’t, because it left me saddened, angered and in those seconds, I realised how one can easily get caught in this emotional and virulent turbulence, that no matter how much people claim not to be racists, their Devilry starts crawling out of the woodwork and they exhibit the true colours of their minds under certain circumstances.

The fabric of society is so tightly woven on oppression, violence, racism… that even centuries later, we are still battling the secondary after-effects of the seeds of blood, slavery, racism, pillage and plunder that have been perpetrated and yet we see people struggling to hold on to second amendment rights that beg to be realigned.

Gosh!! People, please!

When are we going to learn that some parts of history are not worth the second chance of repeating itself? When are we going to wake up and review the extent of anguish and affliction and the toll that certain unsavoury decisions made by our predecessors has taken on society?

It seems we are sitting on kegs of gunpowder that ticks and would go KABOOM in seconds and since we don’t get a second chance to live another life, doesn’t it make sense to just try and live one great life and leave better legacies behind, especially when we consider the fact that the seconds on the hands of time ticks pretty fast and we really don’t have that much time on our hands?

Phew! I am exhausted just thinking through all this. Let me get myself a second glass of orange juice to calm my brain down a notch.

Have a splendid weekend and keep safe. Thank you, Linda for your intuitive prompt ‘second.’ 🙂

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Stars, Five Stars, Logo, Icon, Symbol, Five, Rating

Wonderful, evocative poetry by a talented writer. Left me hungry for more. Jacqueline can write! Linda Bethea

Out of the silent breath

If you enjoy my works and would like to do so, you can fuel my creativity with a slice of cake or coffee😉

Lady in red – Everyday beautiful people 87

When you raise a woman, you raise a village – African proverb

Women are the real architects of society – Anon

IMG_0987 IMG_0989

I saw her from afar

She certainly stood apart

Like a beautiful Rose

Caught in a family of bramble.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Stars, Five Stars, Logo, Icon, Symbol, Five, Rating

Jacqueline writes from her heart on passion, pain, suffering, loss and LIFE. I have been incredibly moved by her poetry and I know I will return to “Out of the Silent Breath” again and again.

Out of the silent breath

If you enjoy my works and would like to do so, you can fuel my creativity with a slice of cake or coffee😉

For my benefit and yours…personal thoughts

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The past week has been a tough struggle to get to my inner place of happiness.

I struggled to isolate my thoughts as I would normally do in order to reach my state of sanctuary because I was troubled by World events.

I may not be able to isolate myself from the goings on because I also have an interest in life around me after all, no man is an Island, but for self-preservation, one has to separate themselves from time to time so as not to get lost in the deluge of happenings that cascades all over us.

My husband always says that I am too sensitive and possibly naive to an extent that things still manage to shock me.

I would have thought that having personally been through several valleys and shadows of death in my life, that I would have come up toughened, but I realise that the deepness of my scars actually makes me more vulnerable, more sensitive to others, more empathetic and possibly more naive at my wonder at life.

Our happiness should never be hinged on anything temporal because our truest form of peace comes from within.

At moments like this when I search inside me or through the Bible for words of courage, love and understanding, I am surprised how old knowledge takes on new meaning.

“We are told that in everything, we should give thanks to God.” for example 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20

It’s a hard sell to give thanks when it’s easier to be grumpy.
It’s a hard sell to a grieving soul.
It’s a hard sell to someone fighting for their lives.
It’s a hard sell for so many reasons….

but as I continued to reflect on this in my mind, the Truth of giving thanks and being grateful expanded.

We give thanks not because we feel obliged to do so and not because of what we may have, but because it actually uplifts our minds.

We give thanks not because our lives are great, but because it could be worse and it expands the little we have to more.

Our thankful heart is less grumpy and experiences better health in that state.

Our state of gratitude inadvertently acts as a pep up for our spirit as it insulates our mind with happy hormones and refreshes it.

Truly, the struggle is real in the battlefield of the mind and one must not discount it, but it could be worse when we throw our sense of gratitude to the winds.

Yes, we must continue to advocate for peace, love and understanding. We may continue to remain baffled at the unfolding of events around us and wonder how selfishness has gained such toe-hold that it has become a blinding driver that the conscience of society dies one more inch each day.

However, in all these nerve-wracking things going on, we must never forget to uplift ourselves with thanks. We must never forget our sense of inner self-preservation for our true strength does not lie with the guns since we did not come to Earth bearing pistols in our hands.

A heart mired in ingratitude is indeed a bitter place to be. No matter how little, find something positive to be thankful for. Let it all end in praise.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Stars, Five Stars, Logo, Icon, Symbol, Five, Rating

“Beautiful Poetry of Life and Love.” Amanda

Out of the silent breath

Midnight Motivations and Musings 85

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It’s always interesting to listen to people define ‘who they are’ by the pigment of their skin.

The pigment of your skin is simply aesthetics. The who you are is the being that resides behind the skin.

If you wish to understand a bit more, consider the thought of stripping yourself bare as a child, with no thought of colour and with an open mind of a receptive adult. Who do you see beneath your skin?

In our World, there are no doubts that the colour of our skin determines a lot with respect to our social strata…that’s an entirely different topic, but we shouldn’t let the colour of our skin determine who we really are, how far or how low we can reach in our lives.

The more you know yourself, the more you broaden your horizons.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

I hear you in my thoughts…

Your words of wisdom,

of love and encouragement…

They are etched upon my soul.

They keep me warm.

**

*an excerpt from my poem*

Its always a Hustle….a short story (Pt. 3)

The Hustle Part 1

The Hustle Part 2

”Hia!” ”Is this not where I hung the shirt?” Ikem queries the silent night. His brand new blue second-hand T shirt with the Chelsea logo was gone! Could it have been carried by the breeze? ”Ah! Ah!” ”I just washed and put it out here not too long ago to dry in the light harmattan breeze!”

His other frayed shirt is hanging and flapping in the wind as if in mockery of his thoughts. He knows in his heart that one of those crooked eyed boys in the neighbourhood has pilfered the new one! ”Maybe it is Jude that took it o.” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” he bangs on the Jude’s door, to no response.

This reaffirms his decision to go home to the village for Christmas in a couple of weeks and proceed to Onitsha with his cousin Chuks.From the look of things Chuks seems to be doing well at Onitsha.” ”I will join him and start afresh from there.” ”I am tired of this place!”

”So what am I going to wear for tomorrow’s event now?”

He had just walked out of the dingy common bathroom of their quarters bare-bottomed feet; the sling of his worn-out slippers had finally died a natural death on his trek back home after a hectic days hustle.

It was dark in the neighbourhood. ”O boy, these NEPA boys have dismantled and collected the wires o”, says his neighbour Jude, seated on a heap of cement blocks outside, enjoying the nights fresh air. Their light connections are haphazardly and illegally done, coupled with their inability to settle the NEPA officials with something for the weekend.

Child naming ceremony

Child naming ceremony

Ikem chooses not to let such things bother him right now. He is moving to higher grounds in a few weeks time, besides he had purchased quite an assortment of apparels including two new sandals and sneakers that he will launch over Christmas in the village.

As a matter of fact, if fate continues smiling the way it has been these last couple of weeks, ”I might even consider buying a G.S.M torch light phone and a few items to take to Mama and Nwanneka.’‘ ”It is almost my turn to collect the accumulated funds from ‘Isusu’.”

He felt happier than he had in a long while as he quickly washes and hangs his shirt to drain before he retires for the night. Tomorrow will be a good day, he whistles as he goes along. Papa Emma’s is having the child dedication of his twins, and surely the celebration will be followed by several plates of rice and meat coupled with free drinks to go around.

Party Jollof rice with plantain and moin-moin

Party Jollof rice with plantain and moi-moi

He plans to join them to go to church. He has not been to church for so many months. It was tiring attending church services that were fast turning into fashion parades, whilst he had nothing fashionable to wear. It always made him feel ashamed.

Now! The new Tshirt he planned to showcase tomorrow has disappeared. “Thank God I didn’t wash the Chinos jeans as well.” ”I will just have to wear something else!” He muses to himself.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Links to the earlier series are at the top of the page. Thank you

Quick Glossary for words that you might not know:

Child dedication: Child dedication is a symbolic ceremony undertaken by Christian parents soon after the birth of a child. This rite is intended to be a public statement by the parents that they will train their children in the Christian faith.

Chuks: A shortened form of an Igbo name given to boys which could be derived from Chukwuka, God is greater, Chukwuemeka, God has done so well, Chukwudi, God lives, Chukwuebuka, God is very big etc

Isusu: An informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings for the enablement of kith and kin ventures.

Harmattan: Harmattan is a cold-dry and dusty trade wind, that blows over the West African subcontinent, from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter).

Hia! Just an exclamation like Oh dear!

Moi-Moi: Nigerian steamed bean cakes made from a mixture of washed, peeled black-eyed peas, onions and fresh ground peppers (usually a combination of bell peppers and chili or scotch bonnet). A very protein-rich food that is a staple in Nigeria

NEPA: National Electric Power Authority was an organization formerly governing the use of electricity in Nigeria now replaced by PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria).

Nwanneka: An indigenous Igbo name given to a girl and it means: ”my siblings are supreme or very important.”

Onitsha: A city with one of the largest commercial markets in West Africa. It is situated on the river port on the eastern bank of the Niger river in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria.

To settle: The act of adjusting or determining disputes between persons without pursuing the matter through the formal process. In this case, it is giving something under the table to the officials.

I found a lot of treasures in the neighbours backyards this past week. Will share just a few. Do take a peek.

 Ten anxiety antidotes from Chris the Story reading Ape: a lot of people do suffer anxiety attacks and it is not something to pooh-pooh at.

When silence is a virtue from Oba’s blog: we all need to keep quiet sometime and listen from within

Who am I by Amy Lou blogs :

A delicious looking platter from Lynz Real Cooking

International friendship blogging forum: You might be interested in joining.

The right way to grieve by Debbie Carroll Is there a right or wrong way to grieve?

A lovely quote found at Haddon Musings Do take a peek 🙂

Why a watched pot never boils from Blabberwockying. You need to read it to find out why.

Italian vegetable soup: Another warm platter for cold nights from What’s for dinner Moms.

Yes my voice will be heard: I fell in love with this poem found on Kay Morris blog.

Raging Joy Crusher: This thought-filled post from PamWitzemann speaks in very loud volumes.

Breast cancer awareness month: Early detection is key, have you done it!

It’s a weekend folks! Enjoy! Be happy and kind regards.

HUSTLE Continues….. A short story and a link to my neighbours

Bus Hustle

The first part of the series – Hustle – Part 1

Ego  ne? Ikem asks. Picking up and dropping several T shirts from the pile of bend-down select clothes heaped on a tarpaulin on the market floor.

Hah! I don tell you say na N200 only! Replied the man with the bell.

Second-hand aka bend-down-select cloth sales

Second-hand aka bend-down-select cloth sales

Bros, abeg! I wan buy 2 or even 3 sef, if you fit commot something. Ikem haggles and they eventually settle for N120 each and he happily pays for the three that he chose, clutching his black nylon of new apparels with a bounce in his steps, he leaves for Mama Nwamaka’s canteen.

A plate of hot ‘Garri and Onugbu soup’ with some ‘Show Boy’ and a bottle of ‘small stout’ is just the thing to set his World right today; he has more jingle in his pockets from a few days of work than all the previous weeks put together.

Preceding market days have been grueling but more rewarding. It seems the approach of Christmas has triggered off a flurry of more business and lots of off-loading of bags of garri and gallons of palm-oil has enriched him more than carrying baskets for housewives and their wares.

Some of these women came for their weekly shopping armed with scorpion stingers on their lips and taking out the grouch from their homes on unsuspecting recipients.

The last one had nagged and haggled that he was charging too much, that he was almost tempted to ask her to carry the things herself.

“Is it not just from here to the bus-stop, or are we going to ‘Ibagwa’?” She harassed.

Bitter leaf soup and garri

Bitter leaf soup and garri

Carry that thing well o.” ”Hah all this shaking, my oil will pour o!” She went on and on.

You are going too fast!” “I cannot keep up with you, she argued!” Whilst stopping to greet every single market woman that crossed her path and Ikem stood with her weighted load on his head.

Such women were very trying, but he needed all the money he could make.

He wants to buy several new items and to replace his worn out rubber slippers. Occupying his mind with happier thoughts of the jeans and canvas that he will purchase soon, he tunes out the shrewish woman’s voice.

A belly full of good food and a glass of palmy later- Mama Amaka had fresh supply and he couldn’t resist the intoxicating aroma of fresh palm-wine. It is not every day that you could get an authentic bottle that is not watered down. He hurries back to hustle for more customers.

Show boy aka Kpomo/Kanda

Show boy aka Kpomo/Kanda

A few more bags of rice and basket carrying for market late-comers, it is time to go home.

It appears like a throng or water-fall of humans. Everyone rushing to get done and go home.

Ikem is happy with the days events and as he jostles along with the crowd, an unexpected shove from the back has him turning around to lambaste the pusher, only for the ensuing shouting chant of ‘Ole! Thief o! Onye Oshi!’ rings out in the crowd.

The pusher happens to be a wily young pick-pocket who was trying to make away with a woman’s purse. Out of reflex Ikem hot-foots after the escaping thief along with a several young men.

The crowd impedes the pick-pockets movements and he is nabbed a few yards away and beaten to an inch of his life.

It takes the pleading voices of some concerned women to save him from being pulped to death.

Jungle Justice! Quick to be meted out when the culprit is caught; especially among the poor culprits.

Ikem ponders on this issue as he makes his way home. Wondering why a young man would choose to bargain with his life over a paltry sum of Naira. The culprits face is one of those idling chaps that he sees around the market.

To be continued.. You can read the first part by clicking the link in red ink above!

Quick Glossary for words that you may not know:

Ego  ne – How much is this?

Hah! I don tell you say na N200 only! – Ah! but I told you it is only 200 Naira (note that it is expected to haggle over price in the market)

Bros, abeg! I wan buy 2 or even 3 sef, if you fit commot something – My brother please! I want to buy 2 or even 3, only if you can reduce the price.

Bend-down-select: A heap of mixed used clothing where customers literally bend down to scrounge through the pile and select an item they want to buy.

Mama Nwamaka – Nwamaka’s mother. Nwamaka is a native Igbo name that means, ”the child is beautiful, the child is good” There are derivatives such as Amaka.

Garri- A popular West African meal made from Cassava tubers.

Onugbu soup – A type of soup which is peculiar to the Ibo’s. It is made from bitter-leaf vegetable and a thickener of coco-yams.

Show Boy also known as Kpomo or Kanda – These are processed cow hide eaten as meat. It is regarded as a delicacy.

Small stout also known as Odeku –  This is a dark beer made from roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.

Ibagwa – Ibagwa is a community located North of the great University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Ole! Thief o! Onye Oshi!’The three words mean the same thing: Ole is Yoruba for thief, and Onye Oshi is Igbo for thief. It is not uncommon to mix English with broken/pidgin language and another tribes language.

Palm-Oil – a reddish – yellow butter-like oil which is derived from the fruit of the oil palm. It is used as edible cooking fat and also for making soaps, candles and cream.

Palmy – a shortened name for Palm-Wine, which is an alcoholic drink made from fermented palm sap. It is used in major traditional occasions in Igbo land such as Traditional titling occasions, Traditional weddings, burials, child naming ceremony and general entertainment.

The posts that I would like to share because they spoke to me:

When great trees fall: This poem from Maya Angelou featured by JoHanna Massey’s blog spoke loudly to me. Almost felt as is Maya was talking about her demise ”in my mind” because she is indeed a great tree. This is my first time of reading it.

Evening Chuckle: Nutsrok does know how to bring the mirth out of me. She offers rib-cracking laughter each time 🙂

Wordless – Wednesday: I love food. Lucid Gypsy’s picture was pure temptation for me 😉

Value of life is measured: A precious tale from MLou. Bless you Ma’am 🙂

Help a Writer Out: From Christian Mihai. You might be in a position to assist.

How to keep dangerous jealousy and envy from destroying your life: I need not say more.

Going smoke free one year on: Her resilience is quite admirable 🙂

Woo Hoo: A challenge that might interest you.

New EMV chip card scam: A need to know security tip from Tasha.

A butterfly trapped in a school bus: This didn’t put a smile on my face. It made me very sad and ill 😦

Have a lovely weekend folks and God Bless.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Keep it Moving Forward…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pay It Forward.”

pay-it-forward2

Splendid prompt! Splendid timing!

I like this prompt because paying it forward just happened to me today, out of the blues. Whilst going through posts on my reader, a little note popped up and I saw this comment:

Congratulations to JACQUELINE who is the Giveaway Friday winner!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

With the most comments on alocovivavoce.com, Jacqueline has emerged the winner of Giveaway Friday for the month of September 2015. Congratulations Jacqueline!

As a special prize, Jacqueline gets one of the following:

A 2000 (two thousand) naira recharge card of any network of your choice.

Or

A promotion of anything of your choice on alocovivavoce.com. Whether a product, service, idea or writeup, just let me know whatever you choose to promote and I would be at your service.

So once again, congratulations Jacqueline for being the top commenter for September 2015.

Sincerely speaking, I was quite surprised. I thought it was spam. Then I saw the name of the blog that it came from, so I gingerly clicked on it, reminding myself that April fools day had come and gone.

Anyways, I decided to play along and Viola! It is real. Now that certainly put a very big smile on my face 🙂

My initial thought was to ask her to promote my blog, but a little voice whispered to me: “you have received some pleasure and delight from this warm gesture, so why not put a smile on the face of another unsuspecting person” and I decided to go with the voice, so I responded to A Loco Viva Voce:

Goodness gracious me! This is a very pleasant and warming surprise. Not expected in the least and that is what makes it extremely lovely and appreciated.

My dear lady, thank you from the depth of me. This is such a heartwarming gesture. How I wish I could claim the recharge card, but since I am not in Nigeria it’s okay.

Better still, I can pay it forward and bless someone else over there with the recharge card.

Please let me know what you think and once again, thank you. God Bless

She came back with the response that it’s fine to send the gift of the recharge card forward to another recipient 🙂

So there you have it! Easily done and all in a days job 🙂

act of kindness

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha