Category Archives: Culture

Formed, Deformed & Reformed

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The futility of listening, 

to dialogues on ideological intricacies.

Dialogues that don’t ultimately alter,

Life’s existential circumstances.

Stop the dialectic intellectual jargon,

    promoting nonsensical stances.

 Rather show love and kindness,

and humanity is pacified.

    When the quests for the heavenly life is realized,

Earthlings are formed.

In dissonance, we are deformed,

And in accordance, we are reformed.

Ego-centrism and hatred are entrapping,

their fruits are slaying.

Altruism and love are enthralling,

their profits are inspiring. 

In restitution and reconciliation,

Life is converted.

And through love,

The Beauty of humanity is fully revealed.

 Anywhere there is love-filled life,

Hope is kindled, and rekindled.

Those who love their neighbors,

Are truthfully blessed, and a blessing.

Those who love their enemies,

Are indeed truly celestial.

They are sowers of radical love,

Who will forever reap everlasting joy.

We are Formed then Deformed,

And Reformed.

Only through the chorus of love and life,

So godly and so good.


Your Pet or Me: Who Would You Save?


I was listening to Steve Harvey Morning Show on radio this morning (12/12/14), and a guest said he’s been married for about 8 years, has three kids, and a dog. Then he jokingly said he loved his dog more than two of his children.

I thought that was funny! I reflected back to my teenage years in Nigeria, and remember that one of my uncles had two German shepherds he took very good care of, and won’t spare any cost whatsoever when it came to his dogs. My cousins and I would joke then that he seemed to love the dogs more than he loved human beings. The dogs were fed with the kind of food most average families in Nigeria couldn’t afford. The dogs had access to the best vet clinic in town, and also had professional dog trainers coming to train them from time to time.Adler-not-a-tool-WisdomQuotes

Yes, the dogs were living large. They were celebrity dogs when compared to other others in Nigeria. In fact, the dogs had a deep freezer dedicated only to their food which was always freshly cooked, with lots of fish and meat. They were indeed spoiled dogs!

But I have since been ruminating over the thought that, “Is it possible to love a pet more than one loves one’s own kids or other human beings? I live in the United States, so I’m quite aware that some regard their pets as their kids. I wonder though whom they will choose, if they were faced with a difficult decision, say either to save the life of their beloved pet (kid) or that of an unknown human being.

I’ll be straight up with you, for me, I can’t possibly love any animal (no matter how beautiful that animal is) more than I’ll love any human being because I believe human beings−no matter their nationality and race−are more valuable than other created beings.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pets; growing up, I had a dog, a parrot, and even a monkey but it’s just that I love people more than I’ll ever love any pet.

The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.

– Vincent van Gogh

I believe in the sacredness of humanity because we are made in the imago Dei−image of God. Every one of us is treasure in the sight of God. Although I must admit, it doesn’t seem like that sometimes, especially when one considers the existential struggles billions of people in our world were/are constantly dealing with.

Yet, all of us: poor, rich, black, white, colored, tall, short, fat, thin, smart, dull, foolish, wise, producers, consumers, takers, givers, cheaters, loyalists, ugly, beautiful, invalid, able-bodied, etc., are very dear, and we need to start treating one another as prized.

It’s a good thing to love ones pets but love your neighbors even more

Bayo Anifowoshe

Domestic Violence: A Diseased Fruit of Patriarchy in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime.

This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the

invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time

– Nicole Kidman

With the murder-suicide involving VH1 star Stephanie Moseley and her rapper husband Earl Hayes on Monday, Dec. 8 2014, this piece is necessary as we are again reminded of the evil of domestic violence and abuse. How can anyone justify this dastardly act? One of the causes of domestic abuse/violence is traceable to the patriarchal nature of our societies. Men are usually the perpetrators of domestic abuse especially when they think their ego is being trampled upon by their female partners who they usually perceive as lesser than they are.

life quote 1Abusive men see it as intolerable effrontery for their female partners to talk to them in a particular fashion. Their chauvinism is stirred, and abuse ensues. Generally, women have little or no agency at all, and this ultimately translates to an appalling human rights violation as rightly expressed by Nicole Kidman.

I grew up in a society where patriarchy is structurally ingrained in the fabric of the community. The male persona, typically the head of the household is “Alpha and Omega,” and whatever he says is unequivocally binding on all members of his household. He is a demi-god in his house, and he wields his power arbitrarily. Thus, the negative effect of patriarchy is seen in the habitually abuse of women, even in our so called Christian household which arguably is regarded as the ideal household from time immemorial.

But are Christian households still considered the ideal? This question of course causes us to challenge the notion of what it means to be “ideal” or who gets to define what an ideal household is? But this is not the scope of this write-up.

domestic-violence (2This is a hot button for me because abusive relationships proliferate the society where I grew up due to gender attributions which place the male/men/boy/masculine categorization over and above the female/women/girl/feminine categorization. The Nigerian context thus is my point of entrance since it’s what I’m more familiar with (Don’t know much about other African countries to categorize them within this framework). The Nigerian context very much captures to some extent what happens in other contexts as well. Abuse on women is customarily perpetuated by men who are conditioned right from their boyhood into believing that the they are providentially, and evidently “superior” to their female counterparts, thus fostering the perception that they can do whatever they want to their women’s body, and psyche.

These abusive tendencies are depictions of socially constructed customs engendered by gender roles which are strictly defined by one’s sexual characteristics. As expected, those who get to define these roles are male figures who control the community’s major institutions such as family, government, commerce, religion, and so forth.

In Nigeria, most folks are indeed negatively impacted by domestic violence which inescapably is in one’s face, sooner or later one is directly or indirectly affected by this social ill, either as a victim or as a culprit.

domestic-violence (3)The pervasiveness of domestic violence is depicted on local television, home videos, radio, newspapers, etc., and sometimes made light of as normal in relationships. And some people don’t see it as a  depravity which ought to be abrogated from our culture. I’m afraid that most people; young and old have come to accept abusive relationships as a natural part of their lived experience and reality.

A more troubling occurrence is usually when church folks quote scriptures to support hierarchies that widen social margins. So, my main responsibility as an advocate of good Christian practice, is to challenge abusive relationships and openly speak against this social aberration.

Christian women who are trapped in abusive relationships need to be emboldened to speak up and seek pastoral counselling or help from relationship experts. This may be tricky in faith communities which still hold on to the believe that the “woman’s place is in the kitchen,” and propagate that women should be kept voiceless by whatever means possible.

This is by no means a Nigerian worldview alone, Christian history reveals to us that so many of the so called Church fathers made derogatory anti-women remarks; This is due obviously to their erroneous interpretation of the Genesis narrative of the fall of humanity in the Old Testament which in the theological circle is termed “Original Sin.”

adam-eve-1It’s therefore ineffective going for counseling with pastors who still believe that women are inferior to men because such pastors may be wife abusers themselves. We need to reeducate and support folks if need be, and reassure them that God will not condemn them if they need to seek divorce instead of staying in an abusive relationship which may eventually result in their demise. Stories abound which points  to this happening. A support group will help them walk away alive while they can!

It is necessary therefore that conversations on domestic violence are intensified because in most Christian households especially in Nigeria or among Nigerians living in the United States and other developed worlds, there is strong antagonism to any form of divorcements even in situations where domestic violence is well established.


It’s necessary to continually educate folks in our communities in order to sensitize them on the dangers of abusive relationships. It’s important that all folks: victims or perpetrators are fully aware of the consequences of domestic violence/abuse, so they are empowered to eschew this social vice which is debauchery against God and against humanity.

The victims should speak out, while the perpetrators should back out.

Through It All…Bayo Anifowoshe © DECEMBER 2014

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Though in frustration we prostrate in pain

Our mouth will sing a joyful song

Our youth may seem gone for long

Through it all in celebration we regain


Though submerged in trouble on every side

Our soul will rejoice in His perplexing love

Our sole may seem sore as we live and move

Through it all in felicitation we abide and reside


Though the world knocks us down all day

Our heads refuse to bend and be shamed

Our needs may seem unfulfilled and untamed

Through it all in merriment we stay


Though God seems far away from you and I

Our names He knows and for us His son came

Our game may seem bent on fortune and fame

Through it all we know we’re the apple of God’s eye


  Performance versus Cultural Exchange

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If you visit South Africa, Lesedi Cultural Village is one place to go. The dances and cultural performances are fast paced and breathtaking. The village espouses a sense of cultural pride of a people, the Zulus, who are extremely proud of their heritage, values, and sensibilities. The village provides a forum for assessing and relating to a way of life that is highly community oriented and centered on communal wholeness rather than on individualism/individual wholeness. I noticed that most of the dances and performances were customarily in groups rather than solo, thus one can deduce that commonality is uppermost to the Zulu people.


At a deeper level, it can be reasoned that the cultural exhibition intersects between what one can term performance and/versus cultural exchange. It is difficult to wholly pinpoint whether the cultural display was simply performance and nothing more, or that through the performance there was an intended cultural exchange to spectators who mostly don’t understand the culture of the Zulus. I am particular about the losses and gains of cultural exchanges, and how much of a loss of one’s cultural identity to another culture can be classified as violence. 

How reasonable is the claim that due to globalization/colonization/civilization losing part or all of one’s cultural identity to a more dominant culture is violence? But is it? For example, how fair is it, If I don’t teach my kids how to communicate in my native language, or expose them fully to my African culture, and then put the blame on Western cultural influences?

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I often wonder though how much of Western culture has infiltrated African culture as we have come to know it in the 21st Century. A comprehensive scrutiny may divulge influences here and there from varied dominant cultures but I believe for the most part a high percentage of African culture is preserved. A fundamental question though is who gets to determine which cultural values are normative and thus to be upheld?


One quick tip, at the end of the performance, there is a free buffet for everyone, just be careful with the “Tasty Crocodile,” it actually messed two of my colleagues up-diarrhea. No one tried the “Thunder the Buttocks,” but you might want to try it out if you’re bolder than we were. Good luck on that!

A minor digression, I wonder how much of the Christian culture, if ever there was one, is permeated by cultures and philosophies of other religions, and what these influences portend overall on the beliefs and practices of the Christian faith in postmodernism.