Her HIV Status: Family, Love & Sex

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Violet is overjoyed when an article she wrote helped get land a job as a weekly columnist in a big magazine in Nairobi. She’s HIV positive, a fact she has hidden from her toaster/boyfriend “Winston” and her family including her parents.

Winston has been asking her out but she has kept him off because she wants to give her heart to someone serious not sex minded guys. Winston not to be deterred has kept coming back assuring her that he wasn’t after her body but her heart.

Due to the fact that the article that got her the job was about her HIV status, she was obliged to tell her parents about her HIV status. She told her mother and proceeded to her father’s school (he is a teacher) to tell him. She told him about her status and confessed to never having a boyfriend but being lonely made her do “crazy things” which included alcohol intake and unprotected sex. She asked for forgiveness from her father who was visibly disappointed in her and told her to keep her status a secret to protect the image of the family and his profession as a teacher.

In another scene, Violet is seen hanging out with her toaster boyfriend “Winston” in his apartment and both seemed to have had to much to drink with both ending up having sex. Remember that Violet hasn’t told Winston that she was HIV positive and both just had sex.

She confided in Skola, the guy that gave her the virus in the first place of her fears. She said “I slept with Winston and didn’t tell him (that she was HIV+). Then Skola asked “but you did use protection…yeah?” and she replied “I think so (she was too drunk to remember). Then Skola told her to tell him about her status. He continued “not telling him that you are HIV+ is sex under false pretense and you can go to prison”. She replied “what difference will it make because the deed is already done” and Skola smartly replied “he could see a doctor for one, he can get on PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxix). Its a HIV preventive medicine which is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex with a someone that’s HIV+ and if maintained for 4 weeks there is a chance that it might stop the infection from spreading. “But I don’t want to lose my father” (she didn’t want her father to hate her after he told her not to tell anyone) and Skola replied again “how is he adding to your life if he doesn’t support you”.

Violet went home to see her family who were having lunch at the dinner table. Before now, only mum and dad were aware of her HIV status. Her two siblings had no clue. With the mindset that the cat was gonna be let out of the bag sooner than later, she confessed of her status to her siblings and her father outrightly told her to go and deal with the shame alone, that she was no longer welcome in his house.

She then proceeded on that same day with the courage that Skola gave her to confess to Winston about her HIV status. She asked him “did we use a condom because I was too drunk to remember much” and he replied “yes we did use a condom”. She then threw the bombshell “I am HIV positive”. He was flabbergasted and asked “and you forgot to tell me?” of which she replied “I didn’t think we will go there (have sex)”. He then retorted “but we did”. She advised him to go a clinic and get himself checked, just incase. He stood up in anger and said “I really liked you and those feelings wouldn’t have changed if you had just being honest with me” and he walked out on her.

Morale of the story:
1. Love: Violet confessed to her father that he never showed her the love she craved for and deserved. She felt lost in the World without daddy’s love and support which got her lonely most times and craving for the love of other men. A father’s love for his daughter is a big measure of how well she handles life’s challenges especially sex and love. Father’s should never leave their daughter’s at the mercy of society. Be there for them at all times.

2. Be open: She failed to tell Winston about her status which almost ended up being costly because he might have contacted the dreaded disease from her. Her secrecy also cost her his love. Being HIV+ doesn’t mean you should go around telling everyone but tell the people that deserve to know (spouse/family).

3. Don’t discriminate: So many people living with the virus have ended up living far longer lives than some people living without it. Its not the end of the World so why discriminate. Only if we didn’t discriminate against people living with the virus, then maybe they would feel free enough to divulge their status.

4. PEP: Before watching the movie, I hadn’t heard of PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxix) and literally had to google it up for more information. I don’t know much about its availability in your area but at least we are now aware that something could be done to assist those that were raped by people with HIV or had consensual sex with people with HIV. For more information on the drug, click HERE (Be informed).

5. Responsibility: Taking responsibility for yourself and others is very key. Who would have thought that a pretty girl like Violet was HIV+. As Nigerians would say “AIDS no dey show for face”. Be careful and if you must “do”, use protection.

6. Know your status: Violet knew she was HIV positive and was taking medication because she knew her status. A friend said to me that after seeing the movie she wanted to know her status, in her own words “I know I am clean but I just want to make sure”. Be sure. Know your status.

 

NB:
Story was taken from Episodes 1 and 2 of the second season of Shuga: Love, Sex & Money.

EXTRA:
1. Click HERE to watch MTV’s Shuga (Season 2, Episode 1)

2. Click HERE to watch MTV’s Shuga (Season 2, Episode 2)

A Teenager’s Rape: Lessons Learnt

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Asha or baby as she’s fondled called by friends and family is a 16 year old girl living in a broken home. She has been separated from her biological father since she was six years old. Her mother remarried and she’s currently staying with her working mum, her step father and Uncle Joe (Step-father’s younger brother).

On one fateful day, Uncle Joe saw her while she was dancing and sweeping the house, he took undue sexual interest in her. She escaped his paws on that day and proceeded to reporting him to her mother. Instead of her mum to investigate, she brushed off her daughter’s concerns with “stop making up stories. I didn’t stand for your father’s lies and neither would I stand for yours. You are staying her out of your step-father’s kindness, so be nice to his brother (Uncle Joe)”.

Out of desperation, she tried reaching out to the father she never knew by visiting the club he frequented. She got his attention but her father unknowingly brought her back to the house she was eager to run away from. Uncle Joe sensing her vulnerability, forced his way on her, raped and robbed the 16 year old girl of her innocence.

She reported the incident to her friend (Violet) who later approached the raped girl’s dad, told him of her daughter’s predicament. The father sensing how he had disappointed his daughter went back to his divorced wife to take his daughter away from her chief tormentor. He said “I was wrong to walk out on my daughter, you don’t give up responsibility for your child”.

The scene ended with Asha’s father taking her away from her blindsided mother who inadvertently let her own daughter get defiled by her husband’s brother and the rapist being advised to report himself to the police station or risk getting arrested at home.

Morale of the story:
1. Responsibility: Never give up responsibility for a child. Some parents end up separated but they don’t know that the children bear the full brunt of that separation. You might be away from your spouse but never be away from your child’s life. Caring from afar is better than not caring at all. You have a responsibility as a parent to be a parent.

2. Investigate: If you see your child acting funny, investigate. If a lively child starts keeping to herself, ask questions. Don’t be the blindsided parent that assumes all is fine when her child is being molested. Never disregard a child’s concerns, remember: Investigate.

3. Be smart: Its only an ignorant parent that would let her teenage daughter stay in the same house with a grownup man and be daft enough to leave her in the same house with him all alone. Be smart.

4. Talk to someone: Incidences of girls being molested/raped abound but a very small percentage actually report the rapist. Not reporting a rape is letting the rapist go scot-free to rape another girl. Don’t die in silence, talk to a grownup.

 
NB:
Story was taken from Episodes 1 and 2 of the second season of Shuga: Love, Sex & Money.

EXTRA:
1. Click HERE to watch MTV’s Shuga (Season 2, Episode 1)

2. Click HERE to watch MTV’s Shuga (Season 2, Episode 2)

 

FURTHER READING: Rape and How To Avoid It

7 Life Lessons From EMPIRE (The Series)

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I don’t know about you but the buzz surrounding Empire made me watch it and I was hooked from the word GO. I had to literally stop myself from watching the full season one at one sitting. Now after so much anticipation and the long wait, season 2 is only a few days from premiering (September 23rd to be precise). While we wait, I thought to share a few of the life nuggets, financial and PR lessons I picked from the series. I had so much to write but settled for my top 7. Enjoy

1. Respect your parents: There is nothing more African in the series than when Hakeem was flogged with a broom by his mum “Cookie” for disrespecting her. I’m sure my African brothers and sisters would have been watching that scene like “that’s my mum right there…lol”. Although Hakeem had a right to be angry with his mother who went to jail almost immediately after giving birth to him and not been in his life. He had no right to disrespect her. Even Lucious agrees and said to Hakeem “I am not gonna make you love your mother, but you are gonna respect her”. There is nothing truer than that statement. No matter what our parents do, the fact remains that they are our parents and deserve our respect and honor. The Bible in Ephesians 5:1-3 reminded us saying “Children obey your parents…..Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with a promise) that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth”.

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2. Be dead sure: To buttress this point, two scenes come to mind; Cookie stepping out to find a rose on her doorstep, fear gripping her and the thought that the cop killer “Frank Gathers” whom she just snitched on in court was after her life. This led her to paying to have him killed only to find out the rose was just a commemorative gift from Lucious for their anniversary. Only if she waited to be sure. Secondly, Lucious Lyon was apparently misdiagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and given less than 3 years to live when he actually had Myasthenia Gravis (MG) which isn’t as serious. This impending false scare of death led him to speed up taking the company public, finding a successor and pushing Yakeem to drop an album. All these led to cracks in the relationship between him, his sons, his ex wife and his fiancée. Only if he had sort a second opinion. Don’t be in a hurry to make decisions, get a second/third/fourth opinion if not sure and make sure you get your facts straight before jumping into the pool with both feet.

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3. Names are important: There is nothing more resounding in the series than the name of the family “The Lyons”. Such name commands respect. But what shocked me was when Lucious confided in Jamaal that his real name wasn’t actually Lucious Lyon but Dwight Walker but got it changed after he was orphaned. Do you think, the name “The Walkers” or “The Walker Dynasty” would have commanded as much respect as the name “The Lyons” or “The Lyon Dynasty” would have? Doesn’t have a nice ring to it, does it?
Exactly my point, choose your business name and choose it well and please endeavor to name your children right as well. Names are too important to be trivialized.

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4. Try to accept people for who they are: Remember the scene where Cookie had just left jail and went to see her son “Jamaal”. She stepped into his house, hugged him and saw how dirty his crib was and said “for a queen, you sure do keep a messy place. On her way to inspect the chicken he had on fire, she saw his boyfriend “Michael” and said “honey, you didn’t tell me you was dating a little Mexican, she’s adorable”. She called her son a “queen” and she called his boyfriend a “she”.  Jamaal is gay off course. Also, the scene where Cookie was in a cab and she was informed about Tiana’s lesbian picture with her girlfriend, instead of criticizing her or as Africans would do “bind out the demons”, she simply remarked “I don’t judge but you’s a freak and that’s a good thing”. She accepted her son for who he was and loved him anyway. Something Lucious found very difficult doing from the onset. She also accepted Tiana for who she was and worked with her anyway. Why criticize or judge people. You either love them or leave them. Simple.

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5. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and your dreams: The only thing that stood between Jamaal and stardom was his messed up priorities. When quizzed by Cookie, he said “I just want to play, touring and albums mess up the authencity of the sound”. Then Cookie at her best said “Maal, you gotta share what God gave you with the World”. In subsequent episodes, she reminded him of his talent and kept telling Lucious that his gay son was the most talented of the duo (Hakeem and Jamaal) and he was gonna become the heir apparent of the Lyon dynasty.  On the other hand, Jamaal’s boyfriend “Michael” was afraid of the direction/attention Jamaal’s talent was giving him and wanted him all to himself instead of encouraging him to spread his wings and fly. They eventually broke up. You might have the gift but surrounding yourself with those that believe in that gift is almost as important. If you are a Jamaal, surround yourself with a Cookie. Be inspired.

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6. Appearance is everything: If you want to be the boss, you better look like one. I’m sure that’s what Cookie and Lucious had in mind when stepping out every day. Whether on his coily hair with bad ass jackets and insane muffler scarfs to match or her animal print dresses or obnoxious fur coats with bad ass makeup, both main characters were never caught looking nothing like royalty. Its true that people are more inclined to take you more seriously if you dress authoritatively. Always dress to impress.

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7. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer: From the moment Lucious learnt that Cookie was out of jail, he immediately instructed Bunkie to keep an eye on her saying “I want to know everything she’s (Cookie) doing, and I mean everything”. Did you ever think Lucious wasn’t in the know of what ever Billy Baretti (owner of Creedmoor Entertainment) had planned? You need to stay ahead of the game but the surest way to do that is know the game’s next move before they make it. Remember the saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

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……and remember “The streets ain’t made for everybody, that’s why they made sidewalks.” Know your lane and walk in it. Don’t be who you are not, stay true to yourself because it takes too much effort to be someone you are not.

Empire (TV SHOW) (l-r) Tiraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, grace the cover of Entertainment Weekly March edition. Bryshere Y. Gray, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers Photographed February 12, 2015 at the Up and Down Club in New York, NY. Photograph by Marc Hom

 

So to my Empire fans eagerly anticipating Season 2 which kicks off in a few weeks time, FOX TV released a trailer of the new season and its hawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwt.
Spoiler alert: Luscious Lyon is in jail and gets a visit from Cookie, Cookie is in a cage, Andre plots to become CEO by removing Luscious, Luscious is singing in jail, Chris Rock is Luscious Lyon’s cell-mate and many more. I can hardly wait. Click HERE to watch the Season 2 Trailer.

BONUS: Are you aware that Wesley Snipes was supposed to play Luscious Lyon instead of Terrance Howard and Monique was to play Cookie instead of fan’s favorite Taraji P. Henson? Find out 9 other things you didn’t know about Empire in this 3 minute video titled “10 Things You didn’t Know About EMPIRE”. Click HERE to watch.

EXTRA: For those wondering what all the fuzz is about or for those that wana watch the season 1 again, click HERE to download the FULL season one on your phone and watch on the go.

#Enjoy

 

 

Lessons Learnt from “Tyler Perry’s Temptations”

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I have always loved Tyler Perry’s movies since the days of Madea’s Family Reunion. I always saw Tyler Perry as a funny character who used humor and Christian values in passing across his message. His latest effort titled Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor was void of the usual humor most of his movies possessed nevertheless it was the most captivating movie I watched all through 2013. I picked up a few life lessons from the movie I want to share with you guys. If you are yet to see the movie please follow the links at the end of this write-up, watch the movie and come back and continue this piece because you might not fully understand the story line but if you have seen the movie, lets proceed.
1. In the beginning of the movie, when counselor Judith was narrating the story, you could see that she and Brice seemingly met each other in the church so God was the origin of their friendship as children, fast-forward to their marriage, God was totally removed from the equation, they no longer went to church and considered Sunday as a stress relieving day after all the rigors of work during the week. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says “…a three fold cord is not easily broken”, as soon as God is not in the equation of relationship and marriage, devil will have easy access to the the couple involved. Marriage is like a triangle, the top vertex (edge) is God, the lower edges are man and woman, for as soon as the top edge is gone, then the triangle cannot stand.
2. Judith made a statement during the opening scenes of the movie when she said that she and Brice didn’t have much but they had each other. In relationships and marriage, no matter how dire the situation is, no matter how broke a couple might be, as long as they are together lovingly, there is nothing they cannot overcome.
3. Their life goals differed, whereas Brice’s life long dream was to work in a small pharmacy that maybe he could own one day, Judith’s dream was to become a marriage counselor. Brice wanted to leave a modest “humble” life while Judith wanted to achieve great things with her career. Brice and Harley’s opinions of her career path also differed, when Judith told Brice that she wanted to start up her counselling firm, Brice gave her reasons why not to start now telling her she had to wait for 10 to 15 years but when she told Harley, he reminded her of what she had that could make the venture successful and told her to set up a business plan and start immediately. Stop looking at a glass of water half empty, look at it half full. Support your partner’s dreams and aspirations because nothing big ever started big. As the old adage goes, you don’t climb a tree from the top, you start from the bottom.
4. When they went out for dinner and some thugs called Judith a fine ass b*tch and Brice didn’t respond she felt vulnerable and unprotected. As a guy, as long as your girlfriend/wife doesn’t feel secure around you then there is a problem.
5. Judith kept late hours with Harley discussing her private life even her sex life which was very unprofessional of her. As a married woman, keeping late night hours with a colleague or business associate someone you know is making advances to you is very wrong no matter how strong you think you are, temptations are bound to arise. The best way to resist temptation is to flee from it (1 Corin 6:18, 1 Corin 10:14, 1 Tim 6:11 and 2 Tim 2:22).
6. Women this is a warning to you. The ring on your finger means nothing to a man who wants to sleep with you. I remember a conversation Judith and Harley had in the movie when Harley made sexual advances to Judith and she reminded him that she had a husband and Harley replied “yeah I know but do you want me?”. I didn’t put one single blame on Harley because he liked a married woman, she received his advances with pleasure (green light as we call it over here). What you don’t like, you don’t watch, a man is making advances to you, let your NO be an emphatic NO, don’t plant ideas in his head.
7. In Judith’s own words “I feel so dead with you Brice, I wanna feel alive, I want to feel wanted, you took me for granted”. Brice actually took his wife for granted, this is what most men do, the same loving guy that did all those romantic things to get her stops doing all those things he did to get her as soon as he has her. He stopped challenging her mentally, he didn’t bring out the best in her, he stopped noticing her, he even forgot her birthday (2 years in a row). Nothing makes a relationship stale than when a couple stop challenging each other and end up taking each other for granted.

This movie is so full of moral lessons for both the single and married. Very powerful movie, if you haven’t watched the movie yet please endervour to do so but if you have watched the movie please watch it again and understand that marriage is not a business deal that if its not going well you quit. You are in it through the good times and not so good times. God bless us all

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WATCH THE MOVIE:
Online: http://putlocker.bz/watch-temptation-confessions-of-a-marriage-counselor-online-free-putlocker.html
download on your phone: http://www.fzmovies.net/movie-Temptation%20Confessions%20of%20a%20Marriage%20Counselor.htm