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Apologies My Dear Melanin Umbrella.

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By Belema Omuso Abbey.
I need to say I am sorry dear melanin. Can you ever forgive me? Can I ever undo this wrong? Is there a way I can make this better? How come I was never told I despised you with my actions. I was unknowingly telling you to get lost, literally!!! How come my brain never actually registered the counselling and all the caution I heard? Repeatedly heard.
A deep groan escaped Fabby’s lips as she clutched at her head, sobbing quietly. Then, she pressed send, delivering her message. She got up from the toilet seat and stood in front of the bathroom mirror. She looked at her once “glowing, very fair” skin, scattered in patches of red, black and yellow discoloration. Her skin was shriveled, she could see very tiny and large blue-green veins literally making a map all over her skin. It is a map indeed.
Her doctor says it shows the way the superficial blood vessels course through her body. Her left arm had a long scar, a lasting memory of the surgery she had 4 weeks earlier. The wound took 4 weeks to heal. Dr Regina said it was because her skin has lost all its protective, healing and regenerative functions. Fabby listened as her husband opened the door for the team comprising of doctors and nurses. Her husband called out to her, she is needed he said.
You see, she begins chemotherapy today for melanoma, a skin cancer. That was the outcome of the surgery on her left arm. Melanin stood rigidly against Dr Tan’s consulting room walls. Fabby’s message overwhelmed him as her words echoed all around him. He remembered reading Dr Regina’s notes a few months ago. “Mrs Fabby Dema, a 38 year old female, manager at a bank, who presented with an ulcer on the left arm. She was said to have previously developed an itchy black spot (before the ulcer started) that bled occasionally. She had been using over the counter whitening creams and soaps for 10 years, including a whitening cream following which she would pluck and pull out her skin after a few hours, revealing supposedly new skin. She is married, has just gotten to the peak of her career, her 3 kids are in secondary school. She does not smoke nor take alcohol.”
An angry loud thump drew melanin’s attention back to Dr Tan’s consulting room. It was the angry female patient. She is quite furious because Dr Tan is insisting that she has developed an addiction to steroid creams as she refused to stop applying them 5 months ago. He had prescribed it for an acute flare of her eczema but was surprised to see her much lighter in complexion during the clinic visit. She explained that the steroid cream made her skin fairer and more beautiful. She stomped out of the consulting room as the young dermatologist refused to prescribe some more for her. Melanin pitied Dr Tan. He had particularly had a bad day at the dermatology clinic.
He reminisced about his previous patients. He wondered whether he was complicit in 45 year old Mrs Owuna’s addiction to hydroquinone. He had prepped her skin for a chemical peel with 2% hydroquinone after counselling her on the benefits of the controlled procedure. Following sessions of chemical peels with glycolic acid, he withdrew hydroquinone, placing her on sunscreen.
Despite pre procedure counselling, Mrs A has refused to go off hydroquinone. Today, she informed Dr Tan that her 23 year old daughter’s skin is doing very well with a hydroquinone cream. Dr Tan felt some warmth on his shoulders as Melanin wrapped his arm around him. “No” Melanin said, the patient chose to continue the use of hydroquinone, you did not. He thought of Ms A. Ms A’s ebony skinned friend had accompanied her to her follow up clinic visit today. She needed to consult Dr Tan for a cream that could get her fair. Her group of friends had all started using naturally mixed soap and cream that made their skin luminous. She was rightly worried about the contents of those products, so she came to consult Dr Tan for safer options.
Melanin then screamed through the doctor. “Do not be tempted madam”. Do you know what the different shades of “black” you see on different skin do for us? It protects us from the damaging effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It actually forms an umbrella shield around our skin’s DNA preventing damage and leading to skin cancer. It helps us not to photo age as fast as the white race. Ever heard of the phrase “black don’t crack”?
Bleaching agents with toxic contents like mercury and hydroquinone can give you kidney failure, steroids can cause growth retardation in children and cause a disease called Cushing’s disease. In the long run, when compared to your peers, your skin will look older, is prone to rashes, prone to skin infections, looks more wrinkled, does not heal properly and looks transparent. “I am Melanin, I live in your skin, I protect you, please do not hurt me” the doctor heard himself plead loudly. Those words sliced through Fabby as she dropped the cup of cream. 

 

You see, she is now in remission, her skin cancer treatment had resulted in a very good prognosis. Fabby was about applying whitening/bleaching cream because she noticed her ankles and knuckles look really dark she needed to even up the complexion one more time. Just one more week of use she thought, then I am done with toning my skin forever. So she planned, until melanin replied her long forgotten message.

Belema Omuso Abbey is a consultant dermatologist and physician of the West African College of Physicians. She trained at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu state. She is presently into private practise. She loves to dance, read and allow her imaginations run wild.
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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Philomina ONUWAJE

    November 24, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Wow, great write up by my beautiful chief

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      November 24, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you so much for the feedback

  2. Avatar

    Bridget Webilor

    November 25, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Interesting piece.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      November 25, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much for the feedback

  3. Avatar

    Bridget Webilor

    November 25, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Interesting read.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      November 25, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much for the feedback

  4. Avatar

    Nk

    November 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Nice piece! This message has to be shared to educate many.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      November 25, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much for the feedback, please do share this message.

  5. Avatar

    Ezeobi Obinna

    November 27, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Quite a piece. Thanks to the writer and editor.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      November 28, 2018 at 1:55 am

      Thank you so much for your feedback sir…

  6. Avatar

    Kattey.Kay

    November 27, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I pray we will hear word. The effects of toning (or whatever it is called these days) are serious oh.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      November 28, 2018 at 1:59 am

      Thank you so much for your feedback.

  7. Avatar

    Hilda

    November 29, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Beautiful piece. I enjoyed reading it. Hoping it will get to the right audience.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      December 1, 2018 at 3:11 am

      Thank you so much for the feedback.

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Features

Going back to the basics.

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By Nimi Stephanie Ekere.

Last year, we were woken up to the news of a student who tried to poison his colleague because she was doing better than him, academically. This was to say the

least, frightening. That for me, set my mind wondering what the home environment of the said student was. If a child in Secondary school could think of something so terrible, it clearly showed that his family, which is the smallest unit of the society was in a wrong state. The reason is that the family forms most of a person’s values, at least at that tender age.

 

Recently, the suicide rate in the country has become so alarmingly high and particularly scary amongst young people. Young people take their lives for the flimsiest reasons. It’s either you hear that they took their lives because they were heartbroken in their relationship, they failed an exam or someone spoke to them badly.

 

In the past, we were known for our resilience and ability to adapt to even the most unfriendly situations, so what suddenly changed?

 

I would like us to look into the family setting and review our parenting styles and strategies. A lot has changed. Yes, I think a lot has changed so much; and this does not mean that our parents were perfect in the past. They made their mistakes but to a very large extent, they did a lot of things right.

 

Many modern day parents are so concerned about pleasing their children that a lot of areas are left unattended to. There seems to be no standards and values which are the bedrock of effective parenting.

 

The twenty first century parent is caught up in the web of an extremely busy schedule in the pursuit of money and when they make it, throw it at the child and fail to invest quality time with their children and lose the opportunity to discover their children and what they are growing up to become.

 

For many of these children, integrity means little or nothing, and the child having nothing to emulate, seeks help from his peers and the television.

 

Nannies have taken over the place of mothers in the lives of these children. And because parents are not always visible, and even if they are visible, they are unavailable, there lies a wide communication breakdown. And if a child cannot talk

or discuss everything with his parents, there usually are deadly alternatives for them.

 

Parents try to compensate for these deficiencies with wonderful vacations, gifts, expensive clothes and shoes and other luxuries. While these are wonderful, they do not take the place of deliberate, intentional and effective parenting.

 

Also, a lot of children are suffering from low self-esteem because of the unrealistic expectations and pressures from their parents. ‘Have you seen Linda’s results?’

Why can’t you come first place like Jonathan?’ This is all the child hears and gradually, his self-esteem completely gets eroded and he starts seeking for validation from external sources. He begins to have envy, hatred and unhealthy competitions as part of his everyday life.

 

This begins to manifest in his behaviour towards others. An example is the case of the seventeen year old boy that was left to drown by his friends because they were jealous of him. There are multiples of examples to buttress the fact that we must go back to the basics.

Parenting must be done right if we want to see this generation of children do better than us. There is a vacuum that must be filled. We must listen to these young ones. We must try to create time for them. Our values must not be thrown out, they must be instilled in our children. We can love our children without necessarily giving them everything they want. There should be discipline

in parenting. Sometimes, giving them all they want is not to their advantage. We must learn to know when to draw the line.

 

Their strengths should be celebrated while their weaknesses worked on. Unhealthy competitions are really unhealthy for them. We must know that every child is unique and is created differently with a special gift to change her world.

 

Prayer is an inevitable tool in effective parenting. Every word of prayer said on our children’s behalf is a seed that will germinate and yield fruits, good fruits. This said, prayers must go hand in hand with hard work as even the Bible admonishes us to intentionally, train up our children in a way that they should go and when they are old, they would not depart from it.

 

Thank you for reading this, I hope to get your feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Nimi Stephanie Ekere is a wife, mother and Family Physician. She enjoys writing, reading and attending to her patients.  She is a life coach and teacher, who is passionate about children and young people walking in the right course and path to achieve their full potential.

Her Foundation, Ekom Charity Foundation mentors young people and also cares for the less privileged.

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Features

Sex: The Naked Truth, through my eyes…

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By Excel Agoziem.

So I got to know Dr. Ovundah Nyeche on Facebook. I always found myself reading his beautiful posts. So, after he published Sex, the Naked Truth, I got an autographed copy directly from him and had an amazing read.

This book carries so much of Dr’s God-given wisdom, being a balanced combination of God’s standard for sexual relations, embedded in stories and actual life experiences.

While I initially thought it had teenagers as target audience, when I began reading, I found that I needed it as much, (everyone does) and even parents as well, for the sake of their children.

Sex, the Naked Truth, first teaches that it is God who made sex and all kinds of pleasures, so just as a manufacturer has his user manuals of everything invented by him, so God has His own guidelines on what He made. Yea, of course He made sex.

This book will open your eyes to various truths and expose certain repercussions of not having it God’s way- those consequences you know aren’t all there are, get this book and you will be amazed at what humans expose themselves to, for not having it God’s way.

You will also find different people’s stories shared in it, for your instruction.

Above all, you will learn that you are a priced possession and your body isn’t yours. You will learn how to glorify God with your body.

You will learn that not everyone is being defied, (a lot of people think and say that everyone is), and that just as God had 7,000 uncorrupted prophets in the time Elijah, (Rom 11:4, 1 Kings 19:18) He still has chaste sons and daughters in this age.
You will learn self control.
and the fear of God.

PS: To get this book for yourself, children and friends, just everyone, you can click on the links below.

Or reach the author via 📧 sexthenakedtruth@gmail.com

Udo🙌🙌🙌

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Features

Money Matters Part II

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By Olamide Falase.

The Million Dollar Loaf of Bread…

Remember when I told you earlier https://ovundahnyeche.com/2019/01/08/money-matters-part-i/ that there are some boring terms about money that you need to remember?

Let me ask you this question.

Which is more important, how much money you have, or what you can purchase with what you have?

To a Zimbabwean, that question is a “no-brainer”, he’ll probably say, “Of course it is what you can purchase (You see, there was a time a loaf of bread cost Z$35 Million – in case, you were wondering what I wrote, it’s 35 million Zimbabwean Dollars. You don’t believe me? Check this out https://www.jasonhartman.com/price-of-a-loaf-of-bread-jump…/ )

One very vital way of looking at money is to always think of it in terms of “its purchasing power”.

If someone offered you, US$10,000 or N3 Million which would you accept?

Remember that 3 million is a lot more than 10 thousand (in fact, 30 times more) however, a simple exchange rate comparison will have you opting for the US$10,000 precisely because the US$ is a better STORAGE OF VALUE than the Naira.

Of course choosing between the US$ and the Naira is, to most, a simple decision, but imagine if you had to choose between getting N3 Million right now, or N3.5 Million in 2 years’ time (Both amounts are guaranteed).

Now the choosing becomes more interesting, although I suspect that most Nigerians will settle for the N3 Million today, but I am also willing to wager that it is not for reasons that has to do with understanding how money works.

Make I digress small!!

Always remember that no matter how much or little you earn, you are someone’s “gbogbo bigs boy” or “gbogbo bigs gehs”

What this means is, there is ALWAYS something you can set aside from your current earnings and still maintain a standard of living.

It helps to imagine that there is someone, somewhere, right this minute, who may not even live too far away from you, who can subsist on what is left from your earnings after you have set some of it aside as savings.

Trust me, it is not hard to imagine it, and even much more easier to experience.

You just have to make up your mind to do it.

The toughest part is overcoming the false notion that you are as rich as what you wear, drive, eat or live in.

Truth is, you are as rich as what you cannot do without. The fewer the things you cannot do without, the wealthier you are likely going to become.

Saving money wouldn’t make you wealthy, but you cannot become wealthy without developing an attitude of savings..

I had to jump a whole lot of steps in my “money series” to get here, and so, there will likely be many people who wouldn’t understand what on God’s planet I am talking about; for that I apologize profusely.

I just thought I needed to say this to someone who would need the encouragement to develop an attitude of needing less than they earn.

 

Olamide Falase has nearly 18 years industry experience, which spans the Banking, Food Services, Civil Construction and the downstream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, most of which has been in management and leadership positions. He presents industry related issues in a relatable format, easy for a broad range of people, not only to understand but to also relate to.

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