AN OPEN LETTER TO MY BOSS ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
At first, when I saw your mail asking me to submit an entry, I was ecstatic! A competition about women – challenging gender bias? Wow! But as I began to think about doing it, anxiety began to set in; adding to my other daily battles. So instead, I thought to write you a letter about an average day in my life as a female graphic artist.
When I wake up in the morning, there’s really nothing to remind me that I’m female. Oh, I forgot – except it’s that time of the month. I mean, it comes up every 21 days or less, and lasts for three days or more. That’s pretty average if you ask me…
On such days, I begin to go through my wardrobe, looking for an outfit that is an ally with the colour red, yet is corporate enough and still expressive of the creative that I am. And that is the first challenge – being a female graphic artist means I need to be able to get up and move (tools in my backpack) and that mostly requires trousers, sneakers, and tops. But I love dresses too. Pretty, cute dresses. I adore pink (with emphasis on the ‘adore’).
However, I have learned to wear trousers and top more often; not just because they are comfortable, but because I have met people who look down on me or ignore what I do simply because to them, I have to be dressed as a ‘tomboy’ to be a graphics artist.
Fast forward to me in the office, crippled by mood swings and cramps, but having to act normal because “menstruation” is such a sacred word. But that’s not the height of it. It is knowing that in my 4years plus of designing, I have never physically met or worked with a fellow female graphics designer – let alone had one as my team lead. And oh the things I’m missing out on! There is no role model to show me all that is possible; no one to understand what being a woman on the job feels like; plus I don’t even get to enjoy girly relatable on-the-job jokes. But then again, some people will say I should be thankful.
They talk about female bosses being angry, fierce, difficult to please, and the list goes on. This brings me to the third issue; stereotypes.
Isn’t that what this year’s International Women’s Day is about? Challenging the many hasty generalizations and stereotypical statements which have existed for so long. For instance, the other day I was brainstorming with a colleague and he said “phew, you can never please women.” I started to ask what the conversation had to do with pleasing women and he repeated the statement. And you know what? I didn’t fight it. Because first, I was reserving my energy for the work I had to do and secondly because I knew it was more of a handed-down mindset – of which stealing five minutes from my office time will do nothing to change.
“Women are complex/complicated”
“Women have problem”
“Women are too emotional” – and when you are not, you are “manly” (talk about pleasing people!)
It’s a long list. Just ask the lady beside you, she probably remembers her top ten receipts without flinching.
At the close of work, I pick up my bag and head home but I am not excited about the trip home. Rather, I look forward to actually getting home; doors locked, safe and in one piece. But who knows what I shall be called today? Yesterday, I was called “big breast”, the other day, “my wife” and once, a man walking opposite me said he wishes he could grab my breast and squeeze it. Yet, the ones that call at you are even better than those who actually reach out to grab you. Even decent, looking working class men in clean rides. You will be surprised! And when you complain? They say they are appreciating ‘God’s work’. They even wonder why you are complaining. Others even question if that is not what every woman wants.
I can go on and on about all the things that make living as a woman feel like a daily battle. Nevertheless, I still think baby girls are cute. I still look forward to having one and raising a woman who is better at winning in this world – while we’re still changing it, one day at a time.
In the meantime, I hope you share this letter with the person next to you – male and female alike. I hope it helps. But most importantly, I hope it lends a voice to the many whispers of women across the world.
A pretty graphics artist.
This is beyond giving you a solution. It’s helping you find the answers inside out. Because all you need is within you!
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-Afraid to take the next step
-Not sure of your leadership skills
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I have a high forehead, or a prominent forehead – Apparently, it’s a ‘thing.’
It’s 2018 and I am a 300 level student. I am reclining on my bunk, chatting with a friend about a topic I can no longer recall and she goes “You have a high forehead like me.” I stare at her blankly, then I reply “ No, I don’t.” For the rest of that conversation, all I kept longing for was a mirror to enable me see if ‘her claims’ were true.
After the conversation, I probably stared at my face in every mirror I came across, perhaps because prior to this incidence, I have always thought of my face as…normal. Not flawless but certainly not flawed. Someone pointing this out jarred me out of my ‘state of normalcy.’ I mean, it is my face, how could I know if there is something unusual there? I used to obsess over it, like really obsess, but now, not anymore.
I am writing this because of a conversation I had with a friend some days ago. The subject matter was not new, we’ve talked about it before. It was about his height.
This guy is everything wonderful – shrewd, calm, committed, selfless, progressive, ambitious, smart, I’ll just stop here. The point is, all of these attributes come to nought in the face of his physique. Apparently, three ladies he’d asked out all had the same responses – they couldn’t date him because he is short. Their choices are valid of course, aren’t they? The first time he complained to me about his height, I gave the banal response “You have to accept yourself”, but come to think of it, I didn’t actually think of the weight of that phrase and how hard it might be. Because for all the times I told myself not to focus on my head, it wasn’t easy to oblige. I mean, my younger sister used to be so irritated by my obsession with my forehead in those early days. It almost felt like after that friend pointed out this feature, everyone started seeing it. I remember in ‘a fit of laughter,’ another friend told me not to laugh so hard because it made the vein on my forehead “stand out.”
It is not so easy to forget when there are countless things and people coercing you into paying attention to what you are supposed to be forgetting.
I want my friend to accept himself, there is not really much he can do to correct it. Before telling him to accept it, I am also advocating for the probing question – What can I do about it? Yes, what could I possibly do about my forehead? It might seem to be such a frivolous matter as I like to think myself a young person shunning superficiality and seeking depth, but if a matter constantly troubles me, overlooking it doesn’t make it go away. Now for the forehead, I don’t know if there are surgeries that could do much to make it suitable to the standards and even if there were, can I afford it? And if I could, how am I sure I wouldn’t find some other ‘imperfection’ I would want to correct?
As hackneyed and trite as the phrase ‘ you have to accept it’ , this is the only option I have. Now, this acceptance might not be all at once, it can be little by little, a drop today, a drop tomorrow until it is full and overwhelming. By the way, I focus on my eyes, these days. My eyes – Bright, white and optimistic. What is that physical feature of yours that gets your mind troubled? What can you do about it?
From countless moments of Craving attention
And still helpless, I begged
As if invisible,
Like the wind I made things Move and changed the vision,
But must have only been like whispers.
Deaf ears barely heeded,
Simply looked around and shrugged.
These blessings found her,
Caught her unaware,
But in that blank stare looking past,
As if I’m not even there,
I screamed and raged
Trying to get noticed,
“I’m afraid”, she said
Yet I touched not a hair on her head
So instead my eyes became clouds to express myself and be heard,
She’d broken me,
I hadn’t even noticed.
Manipulated and betrayed,
She wiped her hands off me,
And gave her soul to another.
Thankful God had other plans for me that day
He sent his angels to lift me.
They carried me
And made me take that step from sheets
over my head forced to face another day.
Finally I stepped forth with a lantern,
It lit so bright, it crossed the oceans
God tempered me against his anvil
And placed within me a storm that rages and gives love unto the world.
My shattered heart now stitched together,
With golden thread
But bigger than before.
©M. Lewis Motter
Note From The Author: Reading the poem below written by Eden, inspired me to write the above poem in minutes. It just flowed out of me after reading hers.
Joy. Tears. Laughter. Pain. Death. Life
Lately, I’ve been taking deep breathes. A whole lot has been happening, but in all, more than ever before, I’ve come to realize the power of telling our own stories.
Over 70 Lockdown Stories • 11 Countries • 1 Anthology
Featured Art By: CoilyandCute
Countries: Nigeria • Ghana • Burundi • Italy • USA • United Kingdom • Sweden • Cyprus • Ecuador • Turkey • Sudan
I’ve been working on a collection of lockdown stories. It has been most fulfilling and awe inspiring thus far.
…and some day, when all this is over, we would look back and smile.
Because we came through it all.
And whilst the DEATH that came with COVID-19, we were a part of a LIFE birthed.
The birth of an anthology that carries: Our Stories • Our Song • Our Truth
An Anthology that would tell our stories even long after we are gone.
An Anthology that would sing our songs to generations yet unborn.
An Anthology that would serve as a fountain of the truth of how we lived through the days of COVID-19.
How it came. How we saw. And how we conquered.
Hey, if you have survived through the beginning of the COVID-19 phase till date, then you have conquered a lot in your own unique way. You are a Champ!
COVID19 • Rape • Murder • Crime • Fear •Uncertainty
Has life always been this fragile?
…glad to have covered over 70 different stories all beautiful in their uniqueness.
how we fought wars that bring peace.
how our health workers led this war.
how the COVID-19 days masked more than our faces. Masked more than illness.
Covered evil • Deceptions
World Rape • Murder • Word Depopulation • Crime • Pillage
(because “the true dis-ease is our disconnectedness)
how some of us looked fear in the eyes and went on with our WEDDINGS. Rewriting our love stories. Because ” most times, the WILL is all we need.”
how the days of COVID-19 badly burnt the homeless, the poor and even the rich. Yet, the scars only served as a map to thrive beyond all odds.
how we adjusted to the new normal, and rose above the boredom, setbacks, depression.
how many stayed: Productive • Creative • Charitable
how more than ever before, we cherished each passing time, knowing how fragile life is, especially with the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
how some of us added weight physically, while some others added mentally. All beautiful
how the lockdown was a worldwide holiday. A time to breathe. A time to pause in a fast paced world. A time to learn, unlearn and relearn. A time to rethink and restrategize. A life changing time in all.
how the lockdown made “sugar and salt battle for dominance in a chilled glass of water.”
COVID-19 hunts at neither a particular race, gender, age nor religion or status, but blood.- Humanity.
how we lived in a phase filled with so much uncertainties. It was never easy, yet we hoped “we would be proud we never went on lockdown in our hearts and minds.”
how we searched for God in all of this, not knowing he was right there in our actions and inactions. The kindness, love, hope shared. Our God in all magnificence was right there in all these little things that matter the most. And there lies the answers.
On The Stories Published
At first, I thought 30 would be the highest number of published stories for the Anthology. But the stories kept coming. Each story so unique, making me tell more people, who told more people.
And here we are now! 😊
I AM UTTERLY GRATEFUL
-To God, for the strength and (vibes) to carry on with this project till the end, even on days when life seemed like an empty bottle floating on the oceans.
-Grateful, for the impacts made beyond my wildest imaginations.
-Grateful to everyone who is a part of this.
Your stories reached even places (countries) you and I have probably never been to.
You touched a heart you do not even know by simply telling your own story!
You. Are. Amazing 🏆
Long Live Our Stories• Our Songs• Our Truth
Cheers! To the history preserved, for days when memory may fail.
Cheers! To the stories that would serve as a map for the journey towards a brighter future.
A guide from where we are, to where we ought to be.
Cheers! To Us.
In the highways’ silence
I hear the Apocalypse sing;
“The Reaper is in the streets
Souls are his trophy, no one is free”
The silence has a message
With handwritings on the walls
I see sleeping hearts wake!
The hunter will be hunted
Through his Facade of indefatigability
The world was stunned,
Yet we have found strength to battle
His Luciferian Pride, punctured
How time flies,
With a plague as an escort
How strength grows
On these wings of time.
Our hopes though in grip of fear
Is Never lost, more abounding
Our sleeping hearts, warm and pounding,
Now awakens as Humanity rises
We will rise from staying strong
To becoming strength.
Gathering the pieces of our yesterday,
As our world heals again
©️ Leke Aderinola ©️ Eden Benibo
Today At Express-Shun, we are super excited to publish this powerful duet by talented Leke Aderinola and Our Founder, Eden Benibo.
We are even more excited because it’s Leke’s birthday! 🎊 We celebrate him for all that he has been doing on his space and the impact he has been making via his corner in the literary sphere.
Happy Birthday Leke Aderinola!
We look forward to seeing you blossom in the literary sphere and beyond.
Massive Love From All of Us At Express-Shun
WHAT IS YOUR WHY?
Clung onto obsolete nothingness
The dark clouds are caving in
The moon has discarded my world
The sun has quit its job
The stars mumbles
All heavenly bodies in sync lament
Oh! Let Thy will be done.
Seeking an infinite being to clingy my soul on,
for sanity to be birthed.
Developing thoughts and empirical facts
Seeking the need for re-socialization
Bang! Bang!! Bang!!!
My heart realizes my head is pounding
Mental processes clouded.
Encompassed with the night rays
Are there rays at night?
No. It’s a daytime darkness
The M’s make mockery mimicking me
It ain’t about the talk, luck or clock
There’s no change without work.
©Obi C. Henry
A Lockdown Story
By: Omotola Ogunsola
A lockdown? No an array of open doors!
Just months ago, I was only keen on taking regular lectures in school and hoping to make very good grades for the first semester of my final year in masters program.
Well, my entire goal could only have been within these margins.
Ask me, if I’m the same man in June. No, absolutely not!
However, before next month is over, I would have become a full stack web developer, read 3 books that have changed my entire course in life, worked on my design skill as an Architect and refreshed my portfolio to International standards.
In all, here there seems to be a set back, there is much more answer to him who listens.
A Note From Eden: Dear Tola,
I hope you know you carry so much sunshine too bright to be hidden. The light you carry, pierces through, illuminating dark paths. I hope you remember you’re an epitome strength, brilliance and triumph in all magnificence. I hope you really do know/remember, because when I see you, I see these lights flashing. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Oji Naomi Emuejevuoke
The earth has been on a very long slumber. A very unpredictable one at that! It all began when the virus known as CORONA was discovered in 2019 and thus, had it’s name COVID-19. This was said to have first been discovered in a town known as WUHAN in China.
Rumour has it that the cause of the virus was because the people of Wuhan eats bat, live rodents and the likes.
At first, the virus was in every continent except Africa. Oh! Who knows? Maybe the virus was scared of Africans! I guess we all thought we were lucky enough to be left out in the pandemic until late March, 2020. Nigeria had her first case of COVID-19 in Lagos, and gradually it spread across the country, which resulted to a supposed two weeks lockdown in the affected states.
My place of residence, Edo State was among the affected areas. Well, the lockdown which initially was just for two weeks turned into months.
Life during the lockdown wasn’t easy, especially for those who weren’t financially buoyant. Citizens were asked to stay indoors on self isolation. Obviously, staying indoors wouldn’t put food on the table for some citizens, although the president mentioned feeding people during the lockdown.
How could there be a lockdown when the rate of poverty in our dear country is extremely high? How could there be a lockdown when we have street kids all over the country? How could there be a lockdown when some people need to work everyday including Sundays in order to be able to have at most two meals a day! Where would those street kids go to? Shelter wasn’t provided for them. We want to curb the virus when we haven’t made a single plan in curbing a greater disease, POVERTY!
I’m not against the lockdown. My point is, proper measures were supposed to have been taken before the lockdown. Shelter for homeless persons in the country were meant to have been provided. Is it one who can’t afford shelter for himself that would deem it necessary or prolly even have the money to buy a face mask? If these unsheltered persons roam about, only Heaven would save the GIANT OF AFRICA.
We’re meant to be social distancing, but I watched a video I guess it was broadcasted also, somewhere in Lagos State, food items were being distributed amongst people who were not masked, even though the distributors were properly masked.
The people were more than two hundred!
As I said earlier, these persons weren’t masked at all. The rules regarding social distancing were not maintained at all, as they all looked like sardine packed in a small container.
On proper planning, the food items could have been shared in a more civilized way, without risking the health of citizens.
Students of various institutions have been at home for almost three months! What measure has been put in place to make sure these students are not moved backward academically? Is it the proposed virtual class we heard of but never had? Is our dear country too poor to afford virtual classes for all students and pupils of various institutions? The reason is not even farfetched. Many of our leaders are so engrossed in the sweetness of money and affluence, blinded by corruption.
But the good thing about the lockdown is, I was able to attend webinars which on a normal day I wouldn’t have been able to attend, because of lectures and all. I did acquire skills which would help me even after the lockdown.
This virus is beyond MASKING. Crimes are being committed. People are being murdered. Some are being raped! The world needs more than a mask to save us from these VIRUSES, God help us.
A Note From Eden: Dear Naomi,
You blew my mind! It’s been just few weeks of knowing you, yet, it feels like a lifetime. In duality, I stand in awe and excitement of everything you reflect. In all beauty, courage, brilliance and simplicity, you glow from inside out. Your empathy is a reflection of the sunshine you carry.
You. Are. Beyond. Golden. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Prisca Nosike
From watching the media analyze the impact of a novel virus ravaging China through the West to hearing it’s in the neighborhood…
I wasn’t aware of the reality on ground, just enervated with the stress of my daily schedule and all I needed was a break.
Then the break came, work and public life was shuttered till further notice.
Almost excited, I took the time off as a vacation!
It was cool for sometime until reality began to dawn on me.
The heightened uncertainty.
Not knowing if or when it’ll end.
Not knowing when normal life will begin or what the new normal will be like.
In all this time, we’ve all been almost compelled to understand that most things we chase about are not as important as our health, family and humanity.
Still, I’m grateful for life and the privilege to be part of it all.
I’m hopeful that just like every other season of life:
This too will pass…
A Note From Eden: Dear Prisca,
I see you, I see a masterpiece of beauty, brilliance and truth. And these three are all reflected in your lockdown story. As you stay “grateful for life and the privilege to be part of it all.” I am grateful for you, the giftedness of life. I am grateful because the world is blessed to have you shine your light in hearts and minds, through this seemingly dark times. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Ben Mario
It all started like a rumour.
Videos, skits and clips all for the humour,
We heard there was a new virus called Corona,
It had made its way to Nigeria, all the way from China.
We were sensitized through various News Media that there was no cause for panic,
but eventually the World Health Organisation announced that we
were now facing a Global Pandemic!
This new development spread fast and filtered through towns.
We were told to prepare for a period of total lockdown.
Those who could afford it, engaged in ‘panic’ buying,
while those who were worse off turned to stealing, begging and crying.
I had to personally cancel my already planned road trip to the East. Resigning myself to the new “normal”, was all I could do in the
– B A E
A Note From Eden: Dear Mario,
Firstly, I have always known you to be an expert in sprinkling bits of poetry in your stories, and this one her isn’t an exception. From the overflow of the brilliance you effortlessly carry, your lockdown story is a reflection of so much wittiness whilst its brevity. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
Thrive on Champ!
A Lockdown Story
By: Collette Obi
My lockdown story has really been ‘something’.
The house feels it too.
Cold beds going warm and windows welcoming air.
Now I see the true meaning of family time.
I get a lot of opportunity to sit at the feet of my father, listen to my mother’s laughter, and the chitchats from my siblings.
I noticed new strands of grey on my parents’ heads the other day.
Soothing, yet alarming.
The little things now becoming the most important.
I am grateful to God for what I have.
He has been there from the very beginning.
I’ve picked up a habit from where I left off.
It feels good getting lost in the pages of a book.
I can’t go out physically, why not mentally?
I’ve learnt how to abound and to abase. COVID taught me.
A Note From Eden: Dear Collette,
You carry so much sunshine within, and this radiates in the brilliance you emit, effortlessly. You are bright light, a reflection of the stars glowing through the dark. You are everything beautiful. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Eddy Igbokwe
“DeJa Vu”, was the initial attitude of most people when a casual mention was made of a certain respiratory infection that had broken out somewhere far away in China.
“This is not going to be anything more scary than the world had witnessed in the past, when there had been the outbreak of swine flu (N1H1), Mad cow disease (CJD), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which fizzled out within a short period of time almost unnoticed”. These were the thoughts of most people. Some had even gone as far as characterizing it as hoax or scaremongering.
Suddenly, all hell broke lose! The real meaning of the word “viral”, stormed home when the devastation of being wreaked by a virus named “corona” (codenamed COVID-19) went viral. The epidemic became upgraded to a pandemic.
Italy, my country of residence became the very first country to record a major outbreak of COVID-19, outside of China.
At first, the idea of “Stay-at-home”, was casually mooted as celebrities jovially admonished. Until it became a “lockdown”, being enforced by security agencies when people started to die in drove. Death was literally in the air! Relatives and friends elsewhere in the world started calling to enquire of our wellbeing.
I’m a fitness enthusiast. The further shut down of the gyms really had a drastic impact on me. No one was permitted to go working outdoors beyond 200 metres from their home.
Although I’m not a TV “freak”, I couldn’t still get used to it whilst the lockdown, as there was no comfort in the objects of the news, which was basically about gloom and doom.
Also, I’m not into indoor games- table or electronic. So, potentially, my mental and physical wellbeing were in jeopardy.
However, fortunately, amazon was still delivering orders! I got two books by two Nigerian authors: ” The Tragedy of Victory”, By Goodwin Alabi Isama, and “Half of A Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I devoured both books in 10days!
What next, boredom kicks in again?
I downloaded 10s of Hollywood classic and a few current movies, all which I watched within 10 days.
Then came the REAL DEAL: The RCCG online zoom church services and prayer meetings, which is still on-going, and 360 degrees soothing!!
In all, thankfully, we’ve gone past the worst. The lockdown has been eased, although 80% of people are still walking on eggshells. Caution has remained the buzzword. Facemask is now a fashion accessory, which is not going away anytime soon.
A Note From Eden: Dad,
At each phase of my life, I have been blessed with a father, and I’m grateful to you for being a father to me beyond time and distance. I’m grateful for all the cheerings to thrive on. For all the ever energy giving words. And for all the love. God bless you for everything you are and have been to your girl, Eden. It’s these little things that make the difference…
In your lockdown story, regardless of the storms within, there is this warmth that gently breezed through. The story is one that effortlessly takes the reader into the scene, on the wings of both clarity and empathy dominant in the piece. Thanks Sir, for giving us a quick trip to Italy. Thanks for sharing your truth with us. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Lawrence Mbata
My lock down experience is one that I can call “A Transition” or “A Rebirth.”
I had moments of understanding myself better.
I understood that life should not be taken too serious, because everyone is gonna die someday.
I have never been as charitable as I was during the lockdown. I used the moments to show more kindness.
I studied Social Psychology and Theology. I became more aware of the possibility of paying less attention to the few things we give too much value to.(Internet, Mobile Gadgets, Businesses etc.)
I gave more attention to loving and bonding with family, friends and neighbors I never talked to for even once before now.
Love became an option.
At some point I asked myself these questions: “What if the pandemic is not contained? What if we no longer have a means of surfing the internet or buying data for browsing? What if we have to stay away from even our own brothers, sisters, kids, & friends? What if we can no longer step out to get something to eat?
My lock down story was a question phase that has made me ready for death at any time.
Lawrence Mbata (B7ackPOET)
A Note From Eden: Dear Sir Law,
In all depths and boundlessness, your words pierce, stirring a moment of personal reflections. A moment of truth. A moment of reframing our priorities, broadening our perspectives and relearning kindness. You possess a rare kind of wit, and your heart is a reflection of the sunshine you carry. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Prince Isaiah Osaze
Life itself is a rollercoaster of unforgettable seasons and dispensations, moments filled with joy and sometimes sadness.
The pandemic is one of those sad moments considering how it has affected lives, economy and sadly our minds.
Before the lockdown, I was getting ready for a job interview and also anticipating the ‘MTN Yellow Star’ live audition which I was already enlisted among the lucky contestants who made it to the next stage. The lockdown paused these opportunities.
Here was I resting and thinking the lockdown would be for just two weeks. Although I enjoyed my normal indoor lifestyle of reading, writing, watching movies and surfing the internet or chatting. It wasn’t too long before I got tired, bored, missed church and social life. I couldn’t travel home to spend the Easter with my family.
However, staying in the Corpers Lodge was an advantage for me because there was no dull moment there. Playing games, watching movies in the sitting room, discussions on politics and most times we even ate together… Lol. It was fun!
The thought of investing in myself pushed me into learning skills, writing new articles and songs, registering for online courses and attending webnairs. I also used the opportunity to invest in others as I was a guest for few webinars and also some of my friends on social media.
Wait! My spiritual life wasn’t left out! I had quiet time for fellowship, participated in online services and special programs. I was also connected with my parents and siblings via WhatsApp video calls.
As we pray and anticipate the end of this pandemic and lockdown, I have decided to be among those that would say ‘Thank God! I came out strong and productive’ in the end, because the world has experienced a shift that will affect the previous normal life we lived.
A Note From Eden: Dear Prince,
Your heart is an abode of truth, selflessness, kindness, brilliance. And this is made evident in the footprints you leave behind, everywhere you go. Your love for positively impacting the lives of others is awe-inspiring. You are golden. You are an essence. You are bright light. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Shotonwa Abdul Waheed
Unlike many, I had a view of how the lockdown would be. Perhaps because I had observed how it was in other countries.
Exercising the stay at home order from the state government makes it clear that all resources would be put in place for it to take effect.
As a little boy, I have always seen opportunity in every situation whether favourable or otherwise. Reality made it obvious that the lockdown is real and there is need for adjustments. I quickly buckled up my shoes, thought twice and took some key decisions presently reshaping my world.
My multitasking nature contributed immensely to my goals, as assignments kept coming in since it’s a switch to work from home.
Though, it’s not always about money, some of my key achievements during the lockdown includes: self discovery and development, life reshaping, apt and rapt decision making, goal achievements, and most importantly, sound mind and body.
In summary, it was simply a lockdown for work down.
A Note From Eden: Dear Waheed,
You command brilliance, strength and resilience, even in seemingly difficult times. You are a light through the night. A rainbow through the clouds. And your life is an all time inspiration, in a million beautiful ways. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
By: Fawale Oyewole Timi
At first, the lockdown put a stop to many plans. I had so many things marked out to be done each month. I also had various strategies on how each goal was to be achieved, but from not even the slightest notice, everything was put on a hold.
Although the lockdown stormed and we moved along with the tides, it helped me develop on my skills, it got me thinking, it gave me time to develop on new relationships and it blessed me with little rest which was really needed.
I also realized that we can actually do without some things we thought we couldn’t do away with.
A Note From Eden: Dear Timi,
There is so much wittiness within each line in your lockdown story. The brevity notwithstanding. Each line carries a light that would make the reader take a pause to think/rethink. Your story serves as a map that would help one navigate through this trying times. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
Stephen Onyedikachi Light
The lockdown experience gave me time to rest a bit more and take care of myself too. It also amplified the need to be a better person no matter what and how important your value/what you believe in is.
I learnt so much about self leadership and how to maximize time. Trust me, I slept and ate too when I needed to, a lot of people added weight physically but my own case only the Lord can help. However, I think some weight was gained in my intellect.
So it’s been a sprinkle of many flavours and I am grateful.
A Note From Eden: Dear Stephen, you are a perfect reflection of your name – LIGHT. How your brilliance brightens dark places. How you effortlessly blend humor in all wittiness. How your love for God is blatantly topnotch. You are bright light and more. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.
A Lockdown Story
Since it was said that there’s a pandemic killing thousands of people around the world, I felt like it’s the end of the world. I heard that the only prevention of such a pandemic was a lockdown. All what I could wonder was, How would we survive if it happens? Such a case happened to Rwanda, where they spent some few weeks being locked down. And, the same question returned to my mind, How will we survive if we are locked down?
Few days later, it was said that three people were attacked by COVID-19, and more than ever before, it was said that the lockdown that has to follow.
In less than two months, we were to have elections in our country. We thought that the elections would be postponed. But despite the 42 people who were said to be attacked by COVID-19, elections have been done and till now there’s no lockdown in Burundi.
Let’s pray God to protect Burundi and its citizens.
A Note From Eden: Dear Jeremie,
Burundi is blessed to call you son. You are the sunshine, glowing through the dark. Shining through the clouds. Leaving footprints of positivity in your world. Your heart is one constantly on a mission to uplift, and these have been made evident in your attainments. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.