Archive for the ‘LOVE’ Category


April 25, 2013


April 20, 2013

Modern babes in fattening room

2013-04-17 00:15:03

In a fresh and ambitious re-enactment of the Efik pre-marriage tradition, Fattening Room, six ladies drawn from different parts of Africa land in seclusion, writes AKEEM LASISI

 At a time many people fear that the country’s many cultural practices are on the extinction plane, Fattening Room, a major bridal practice of the Efik People of Cross River, appears to have got a new lease of life. It will soon become a spectacle to be watched on the screen, through the acts of six modern ladies who have just experienced it.

The producer, EbonyLife, which has come up with some powerful reality shows in recent times, describes  Fattening Room as an authentic experience set in the historically significant city of Calabar, also home to the famous Calabar Cultural Festival.

“The Fattening Room is unique to the Efik culture of Nigeria and is practised when young women enter a house of seclusion to learn everything a woman needs to know about running an honourable home, raising children that are as good as gold and managing to keep her husband happy and at home,” the company’s Director of Reality Programmes, Pamela Ofoegbu, notes.

The organisation believes that the time has come to discover the inner chambers of tradition that have always been reserved for women only, when six young ladies from across Africa enter the Fattening Room for the very first time.

She adds, “The ladies start the series in the strict Efik tradition and journey towards modern invention while always honouring their African roots.  It has been an incredible journey back to time as we celebrate our rich African heritage on a beautiful trado-modern backdrop. Our ladies from Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya emerged from the Fattening Room with a better appreciation of the Efik culture and tradition and also of themselves as strong African women full of value and worth.”

Just ‘escaping’ from the room are Roselyn Ashkar, a fashion model and journalist from Ghana; Sally Berold, an adventurer and freelance experiential marketing specialist from South Africa; Stephanie Unachukwu, a Nigerian designer and Patricia Kihoto, a singer, actress and radio personality from Kenya.

Others are Thsepo Maphanyanye,  a publicity and public relations executive from Botswana,  and Limpo Funjika, a business development manager and aspiring TV presenter from Zambia.

While the Series Producer at EbonyLife, founded by Mo Abudu,  Priscilia Nzimiro, says producing the Fattening Room has been a wonderful and enlightening experience,  with Content Director, Kenneth Gyang, lauding the treat as being engaging, the cast generally say the experience has been revealing.

Says Tshepo, “Participating in the fattening room has certainly been a surge of all kinds of emotions but best of all it has been without a doubt an incredible journey of discovery and a once in a lifetime opportunity of exposure to such a rich culture experienced alongside an amazing circle of young women from nations across Africa.Certainly one of my best experiences.”

For Limpo, it has provided her an opportunity to learn; and for Patricia, it has been a lot of fun although she concedes she has learnt a lot, even about herself.

Also says Stephanie, “I have had the opportunity to learn new skills in the short amount of time I’ve been here and look forward to the rest of the show and what it holds.”

Abudu congratulates all the participants and salutes the crew for the feat at producing Fattening Room. She notes, “It is a true testimony of ‘If you can think it, you can do it.’ As a team, during one of our strategy sessions about a year ago inTinapa, we wanted to develop and produce a reality show that showcased the rich culture of Calabar that is now home to EbonyLife TV and we thought what better way to do that, than the Efik tradition of The Fattening Room! And with the genius minds of the EbonyLifeTV team at work, we gave it a treatment that will simply wow everyone when it airs! We simply took an old Efik culture and gave it a modern twist. “


March 17, 2013


VOGUE Magazine

Leading by Example: First Lady Michelle Obama

photographed by Annie Leibovitz


At the start of a second term, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk to Jonathan Van Meter about their life as parents, their marriage, and their vision for America’s families.

One morning in late January, I am standing at one end of the grand red-carpeted corridor that runs through the center of the White House, when suddenly the First Lady appears at the other. “Heeeee’s comin’,” she says of her husband’s imminent arrival. “He’s coming down the stairs now.” The president is on his way from the residence above, and just a split second before he appears, the First Lady, in a midnight-blue Reed Krakoff sleeveless dress and a black kitten heel, slips into the tiniest bit of a surprisingly good soft-shoe, and then the two of them walk arm in arm into the Red Room to sit for a portrait by Annie Leibovitz. The photographer has her iPod playing the Black Eyed Peas song “Where Is the Love?” It is a mid-tempo hip-hop lament about the problematic state of the world. As the First Lady and an aide laugh together over some inside joke, the president starts nodding his head to the beat: “Who picked the music? I love this song.”

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I’m gettin’ older, y’all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin’
Selfishness got us followin’ the wrong direction

A few minutes later, Leibovitz has the president sit in a comfortable chair and then directs the First Lady to perch on the arm. At one point, the First Lady puts her hand on top of his and, instinctively, he wraps his fingers around her thumb. “There’s a lot of huggin’ going on,” says Leibovitz, and everyone laughs. “You’re a very different kind of president and First Lady.”

See our animated video of Michelle Obama’s best looks.

That they are. Put aside for a moment that they are the first African-Americans to preside in the White House, or that it feels perfectly normal to see the president enjoying a hip-hop song in the Red Room before lunch, or that the First Lady has bucked convention by routinely mixing Thom Browne and Alexander McQueen with J.Crew and Target, or that Malia and Sasha’s grandma lives with them upstairs, or that the whole family texts and takes pictures of one another with their smart phones. What is truly unusual about the Obamas is that, in their own quietly determined way, they have insisted on living their lives on their terms: not as the First Family but as a family, first.

First Lady of Fashion: See Michelle Obama’s Best Dressed Moments

“He is a dad,” says the president’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, “and a husband, and he enjoys being with his children and his wife. He doesn’t have a father. He’s trying really hard to be a good dad.” Says former senior adviser David Axelrod, “This is conjecture on my part, but I have to believe that because of the rather tumultuous childhood that he had, family is even more important to him. It’s central to who he is. That’s why he’s home every night at 6:30 for dinner.”

Click through our archival slideshow First Ladies in Vogue.

The president and First Lady both seem to be in ebullient moods, and deservedly so. His surprisingly decisive reelection is now history; the tonally precise inauguration is ten days behind them. The First Lady, it must be said, is funny, and it soon becomes clear that she can’t resist an opportunity to tease her husband. The first real question I ask them is about the persistent notion among the Washington press corps that they—unlike, say, the Reagans or the Clintons—are somehow antisocial, that they don’t privately entertain enough at the White House, that they don’t break bread and smoke cigars and play poker with their enemies. When I joke that they might want to “put that idea to rest” once and for all, the president starts to answer, but his wife, whose back has gone up ever so slightly, cuts him off. “I don’t think it’s our job to put an idea to rest. Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole. You know, we have small kids; they’re growing every day. But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, ‘Our number-one priority is making sure that our family is whole.’ ”

They are quick to point out that most of their friends have kids themselves, and that when they go on vacation, usually with longtime family friends and relatives, they end up with a houseful of children. “The stresses and the pressures of this job are so real that when you get a minute,” the First Lady says, “you want to give that extra energy to your fourteen- and eleven-year-old. . . .” “Although,” her husband says, a big grin spreading across his face, “as I joked at a press conference, now that they want less time with us, who knows? Maybe you’ll see us out in the clubs.”

“Saturday night!” says the First Lady. “The kids are out with their friends. Let’s go party!”

“ ‘The Obamas are out in the club again?’ ” says the president, laughing. “What is true,” he says, more seriously, “is that we probably—even before we came to Washington—had already settled in a little bit to parenthood. And. . . .” Here he pauses in the way that only President Obama can. “Let’s put it this way: I did an awful lot of socializing in my teens and 20s.

Read André Leon Talley’s story on Michelle Obama as she settled into the White House in 2009.

“But what is also true,” he says, “is that the culture in Washington has changed in ways that probably haven’t been great for the way this place runs. . . . When you talk to the folks who were in the Senate or the House back in the sixties, seventies, eighties, there was much less pressure to go back and forth to your home state. . . . Campaigns weren’t as expensive. So a lot of members of Congress bought homes here in the area; their kids went to school here; they ended up socializing in part because their families were here. By the time I got to the Senate, that had changed. Michelle and the girls, for example, stayed in Chicago, and I had this little bachelor apartment that Michelle refused to stay in because she thought it was a little, uh. . . .”

“Yikes,” she says.

“You know, pizza boxes everywhere,” he says. “When she came, I had to get a hotel room.” The First Lady leans in toward me. “That place caught on fire.”

“It did end up catching on fire,” says the president sheepishly.

“And I was like, I told you it was a dump,” she says. Her husband continues, “As a consequence, I think, when the Washington press writes about this, part of what they’re longing for has less to do with us; it has to do with an atmosphere here where there was more of a community in Washington, which did result, I think, in less polarization. Because if your kids went to school together and you’re seeing each other at ball games and church, then Democrats and Republicans had a sense that this is not just perpetual campaigning and political warfare.”

Special Edition Best Dressed: Michelle Obama’s Polished Podium Looks

While the First Lady may not be a Tiger Mom, and the Obamas may not be helicopter parents (despite their access to Marine One), they are, in fact, exemplars of a new paradigm—the super-involved parenting team for whom being equally engaged in the minutiae of their children’s lives is paramount. Perhaps this is what has been misconstrued by old-school Washington. After all, it is so unlike the way that the White House has traditionally functioned, as a paragon of American family life, complete with a staff that all but invented the idea of standing on ceremony.

Later I bring this up to Anita Dunn, former White House communications director and a consultant on the reelection campaign who has a teenager of her own. “You know,” she says, “they are of a different generation. Most of [the Obamas’] friends have both parents in the workforce, and there is a degree of involvement from both parents in raising the children that simply wasn’t the case earlier. But they also both know what it’s like to be raising kids in this very challenging time—whether it’s video games or Facebook or smart phones. That they are experiencing these things along with so many other American parents gives them a unique perspective on the challenges families face.”

I mention the wintry tableau on Inauguration Day, all four Obamas texting and taking pictures of one another. “Sasha plays basketball with her little team at a community center in my neighborhood,” says Dunn. “My son played there and, you know, there are no bleachers or anything—parents are just standing on the sidelines. And that’s an experience that the president has, just like all those other parents. If I was in a school play, my father would show up. But, you know, he wasn’t at the rehearsals. It is a different model. But I think it has been a valuable thing, to help them break out of the bubble.”

From our 2012 Special Edition Best Dressed Issue: Michelle Obama: A Woman of Substance

A friend of mine with two kids who are just heading off to college pointed out to me recently that Malia and Sasha are on the cusp of that stage in life when parenting requires, as she put it, “elasticity”—and life in the White House seems anything but elastic. “Well, the environment becomes more elastic,” the First Lady says. “The Secret Service has to change the way they do things; they have to become more flexible. And they do. Because they want to make sure that these girls are happy and that they have a normal life. . . . There’s a lot of energy that goes into working with staff, working with agents, working with friends’ parents to figure out how do we, you know, let these kids go to the party and have a sleepover and walk through the city on their own, go to the game. Any parent knows that these are the times when you’re just a scheduler and chauffeur for your kids. And that doesn’t change for us. Ninety percent of our conversation is about these girls: What are they doing? And who’s got what practice? And what birthday party is coming up? And did we get a gift for this person? You know, I mean, it is endless and it gets to be pretty exhausting, and if you take your eye off the ball, that’s when their lives become inelastic,” she says emphatically. “So it requires us to be there and be present so that we can respond and have the system respond to their needs. . . . And he’s doing it while still dealing with Syria and health care. He’s as up on every friend, every party, every relationship. . . . And if you’re out at dinner every night, you miss those moments where you can check in and just figure them out when they’re ready to share with you.”

The Obamas’ unusually close partnership and decision-making process started long before they had children. It is now part of legend that when Michelle Robinson decided to leave her cushy office at a corporate Chicago law firm to go work at City Hall for Valerie Jarrett, then deputy chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, she asked Jarrett to have dinner with her then-fiancé before making the leap. When I ask Jarrett if she could offer any insight into how life in the White House has affected the Obamas’ relationship, she says, “They had a very good marriage going in, but it strengthened it because, well, it’s tested it. He has had some really, really tough moments in the White House, and the fact that his partner in this journey has been so steadfastly in his corner and never wavered, it teaches you every day to appreciate what you have. When you’ve had a really tough day and had to make the kinds of literally life-and-death decisions that he’s had to make in the Oval Office, to come home and know you’re safe and that your children are being well taken care of and you feel totally nurtured. . . . We joke about this: He goes home for dinner and no one’s interested in his day. They want to talk about their day. And that is such a relief. And she manages that for him.”

Find out more about Michelle Obama at

When I paraphrase Jarrett’s observation for the president and First Lady, he shifts in his seat and leans forward. “Well, what is true is that, first and foremost, Michelle thinks about the girls. And pretty much everything else from Michelle’s perspective right now is secondary. And rightly so. She is a great mom. What is also true is Michelle’s had to accommodate”—he pauses for a long while—“a life that”—another pause—“it’s fair to say was not necessarily what she envisioned for herself. She has to put up with me. And my schedule and my stresses. And she’s done a great job on that. But I think it would be a mistake to think that my wife, when I walk in the door, is, Hey, honey, how was your day? Let me give you a neck rub. It’s not as if Michelle is thinking in terms of, How do I cater to my husband? I think it’s much more, We’re a team, and how do I make sure that this guy is together enough that he’s paying attention to his girls and not forgetting the basketball game that he’s supposed to be going to on Sunday? So she’s basically managing me quite effectively—that’s what it comes down to. I’m sure Valerie might have made it sound more romantic.” The First Lady, who has been staring at her lap through this entire answer, finally looks up and laughs.

It almost comes as a relief to see the president, so famous for his cool, get a little defensive. I bring up what someone described as his “Hawaiian mellowness” and ask the First Lady to describe this aspect of her husband. “I’ve tried to explain this guy to people over the years, but there is a calmness to him that is just . . . it has been a consistent part of his character. Which is why I think he is uniquely suited for this challenge—because there is a steadiness. And maybe it’s because of his Hawaiian upbringing—you go to Hawaii and it’s Chillsville; maybe it was because his life growing up was a little less steady, so he had to create that steadiness for himself . . . but he is that person, in all situations, over the course of these last four years, from watching the highs and lows of health-care reform to dealing with two very contentious, challenging elections. . . . The most you get from him is ‘You know, that is gonna be tough. . . .’ There are a lot of times I can’t tell how his day went. Unless I really dig down. Because when he walks through that door, he can let go of it all. And it just doesn’t penetrate his soul. And that’s the beautiful thing for me to see as his wife. That was one of the things I was worried about: How would politics affect this very decent, genuine, noble individual? And there is just something about his spirit that allows all that stuff to stay on the outside.”

Someone recently introduced me to the concept of “borrowed functioning,” something that successful couples do without even realizing it. When I describe the concept to the Obamas and confess that my partner of fifteen years is an unflappable, hard-to-read Midwesterner and that I am an emotional hothead from Jersey, they both laugh and gamely play along.

“Well, patience and calm I’m borrowing,” says the First Lady. “Or trying to mirror. I’ve learned that from my husband, that sort of, you know, ability to not get too high or too low with changes and bumps in the road . . . to do more breathing in and just going with it. I’m learning that every day. And to the extent that I’ve made changes in my life, it’s just sort of stepping back and seeing a change not as something to guard against but as a wonderful addition . . . that can make life fun and unexpected. Oftentimes, it’s the way we react to change that is the thing that determines the overall experience. So I’ve learned to let go and enjoy it and take it in and not take things too personally.”

Without missing a beat, the president says, “And what Michelle has done is to remind me every day of the virtues of order.” The First Lady lets out a big laugh. “Being on time. Hanging up your clothes. Being intentional about planning time with your kids. In some ways I think . . . we’re very different people, and some of that’s temperamental, some of it is how we grew up. Michelle grew up in a model nuclear family: mom, dad, brother. . . . She just has these deep, wonderful roots. When you go back to Chicago, she’s got family everywhere. . . . There’s just a warmth and a sense of belonging. And you know, that’s not how I grew up. I had this far-flung family, father left at a very young age, a stepfather who ended up passing away as well. My mother was this wonderful spirit, and she was adventurous but not always very well organized. And, so, what that means is that I’m more comfortable with change and adventure and trying new things, but the downside of it is, sometimes—particularly when we were early on in our marriage—I wasn’t always thinking about the fact that my free-spirited ways might be having an impact on the person I’m with. And conversely, early in our marriage, Michelle provided this sense of stability and clarity and certainty about things, but sometimes she resisted trying something new just because it might seem a little scary or push her out of her comfort zone. I think what we’ve learned from each other is that sense of. . . .”

“Balance,” she says.

“There’s no doubt I’m a better man having spent time with Michelle. I would never say that Michelle’s a better woman, but I will say she’s a little more patient.”

“I would say I’m a better woman. You couldn’t say it.”

“I couldn’t say it,” he says.

The First Lady looks at me: “It’s good that he learned not to say that.” And then turns and looks at him and smiles. “Don’t say that.”

Being around the Obamas, I am struck by a few things: They are both tall and great-looking, and his hair is not so gray. In fact, neither of them looks like they’re on either side of 50. He has beautiful hands, with long, slender fingers that make his wedding band seem enormous. Her Midwestern accent is pronounced, and his legendary Hawaiian mellowness is in full flower for most of the interview—though he is also capable of more than a little swagger. When I ask the First Lady if her husband’s mellow nature is what gets interpreted as “aloof,” she says, “Absolutely. I mean, I don’t know what people expect to see in a president. Maybe they want him to yell and scream at somebody at some point. Sometimes I’d like him to do that.” She laughs and looks at him. “But that’s just not how he deals with stress. And I think that’s something we want in our leaders.”

“It is true that I don’t get too high or I don’t get too low, day to day,” the president says. “Partly because I try to bring to the job a longer-term time frame. I’m a history buff, and I know that big changes take time. But I also know that, setting politics aside, usually things are never as good as you think they are or as bad as you think they are. And that has served me well temperamentally.”

But as the First Lady observes, “all it takes is watching him spend time on a rope line” for you to see the emotion and the connection. I got to watch the president doing just that two days earlier, in a high school gymnasium in Las Vegas after his speech on immigration, and what was unmistakable was the genuine pleasure he took in hugging and handshaking and saying “I love you back!” to the several hundred people who were screaming and crying as they reached out to touch him. It seems that he loves the attention, sure—but it struck me that he loves it to the right degree. How did the First Lady put it? “It doesn’t penetrate his soul.”

Everyone I spoke with about the Obamas said the same thing: What you see is what you get. “The president, when he goes to an event, that is the same Barack Obama who’s in a meeting,” says Dunn. “There really isn’t a divide between their private and public personas.” The First Lady’s chief of staff, Tina Tchen, says, “When people ask me, ‘What’s she really like?’ I say, ‘Well, you’re seeing it. That is exactly who she is and what she’s like.’ ”

As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reminded me, the Obamas went from relative anonymity to worldwide superfame—potent symbols of once-unimaginable progress—in the blink of an eye. Most couples take the long road to the White House; the Obamas’ zip-line arrival left them no time to develop the public personas presumed to be essential for surviving a life subject to that level of scrutiny. “There is a distance that naturally happens as you rise up the political ladder,” says Jarrett. “And I think because his rise happened so fast there was no time to create that distance.” To illustrate, she tells me a story about the time in 2004 when she was vacationing with the Obamas on Martha’s Vineyard, shortly after state senator Obama gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston that launched him onto the national stage. “He went out for a jog,” says Jarrett, “and he came back and he said, ‘Can you believe it? Someone took a photograph of me.’ He was shocked. And we were like, ‘Really?’ He and Michelle went back to southern Illinois and suddenly they were rock stars.”

The president chooses to see their rapid ascent as an advantage. “I think that’s been very helpful . . .” he says. “We were pretty much who we are by the time I hit the national scene. We didn’t grow up or come of age under a spotlight. We were anonymous folks. I was a state senator, but nobody knows who a state senator is. So most of our 30s and 40s were as a typical middle-class family. . . . That really didn’t change until I was 45 years old. And there’s something about having lived a normal life and raised kids.” Here he slips into the syntax of his younger self. “We had to figure out how to make a mortgage, payin’ the bills, goin’ to Target, and freakin’ out when . . . the woman who’s looking after your girls while Michelle’s working suddenly decides she’s quittin’. . . . All those experiences made us who we were, so that by the time this thing hit, it was hard for us to. . . .”

“Be different people,” says the First Lady. “And I think we are accountable to each other for being who we are. There’s no way I could walk in the door and be somebody different from who I’ve been with this man for 20-some-odd years. He would laugh me out of the house!” She goes on, “And we are also blessed with families who hold us accountable.”

“Exactly,” says the president.

This reminds me of something the First Lady’s brother told me. “I played basketball in England for two years,” said Craig Robinson, “and I didn’t realize it, but apparently, I developed somewhat of an accent, and my sister and my father killed me when I came back. They were like, ‘What happened? You go to England and you have an accent?’ It would have been the same thing if Michelle had gotten to be the First Lady and started acting differently. She would have heard it from me and my mom.”

“My mother doesn’t do interviews,” says the First Lady, “but let me tell you: She is not long on pretense. She’s the first one to remind us who we are. And it’s been very helpful having her living with us. . . . We can check reality against her sensibilities.”

“Now, in fairness,” says the president, “there is one thing that’s changed.” The First Lady looks at him. “What’s that?”

“Which is, I used to only have, like, two suits,” he says.

Now you must have dozens, I say.

“Thank God,” she says. “Now, let me tell you: This is the man who still boasts about, This khaki pair of pants I’ve had since I was 20.” The president throws his head back, laughing. “And I’m like, ‘You don’t want to brag about that.’ ” Jay Carney and the young staffers from the White House press office, who are all sitting on a sofa on the other side of the room, crack up.

“Michelle’s like Beyoncé in that song,” says the president. “ ‘Let me upgrade ya!’ She upgraded me.”

“The girls and I are always rooting when he wears, like, a stripe. They’re like, ‘Dad! Oh, you look so handsome. Oh, stripes! You go!’ ”

Taking fashion advice from the First Lady wouldn’t be the worst thing the president could do. After all, she has inspired a modern definition of effortless American chic. Later she tells me this about her relationship to fashion: “I always say that women should wear whatever makes them feel good about themselves. That’s what I always try to do. . . . I also believe that if you’re comfortable in your clothes it’s easy to connect with people and make them feel comfortable as well. In every interaction that I have with people, I always want to show them my most authentic self.”

The week I am in D.C. happens to be Secretary Hillary Clinton’s last week at the State Department, and just outside Valerie Jarrett’s office, glowing on the computer screen of her longtime assistant, Katherine Branch, is a photograph taken this very day of the president and the secretary: He is signing a presidential memorandum promoting gender equality and women’s issues globally as a priority at the Department of State, a longtime cause of Clinton’s. When I remind Jarrett of the bruising primary and the rancor that colored those days before Obama nominated Clinton to his Cabinet, she laughs and then brings up the recent joint interview the former rivals gave to 60 Minutes. “I saw him yesterday and I said, ‘Did you watch the interview?’ And he goes, ‘No, I lived the interview.’ And I said, ‘You gotta watch it. What you probably aren’t aware of is how the affection that you two have for one another just came through completely.’ And he said, ‘Well, of course it did. I love her.’ ”

As we talk, Jarrett draws my attention to an elaborately framed pair of documents on the wall above the table where we are sitting. It is a birthday gift from the president, given to her just nine days after he won reelection. I get up to study them. On the left is the “petition for universal suffrage,” dated January 29, 1866; on the right, a proposal from the House of Representatives, dated May 19, 1919: “Amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women.”

“It’s, like, the real thing!” says Jarrett. “Signed by Susan B. Anthony!” The day she opened the present in the Oval Office, she stared at it for a minute, and as the significance of the gift dawned on her, she said, “Where did you get this?” And he said, “I’m the president. I can get things.” Reminding his best friend of the legacy of those women who have come before is thoughtful, but its underlying message is echt-Obama: Progress takes time. (Fifty-three years in this case.) When I mention this to the president, he lights up. “We talk about this all the time in the White House,” he says. “In some ways the changes that have taken place in this country are amazingly rapid. There are very few examples of countries where you go, basically in one person’s lifetime, from segregation to an African-American president. And yet, we live in a culture that is impatient, and so, if things don’t happen in one month or one year, folks start wondering what’s taking so long.”

David Axelrod no longer works in the White House, but there was no more beleaguered presence on television during the first term, doggedly defending his boss against the ideologues in his own party. “I was struck,” he says, “that there were so many who were unhappy about how long, for example, it took to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, and there were some who felt that the health-care law was insufficient. And, you know, hanging on the wall in the Oval Office was the Emancipation Proclamation. It was a reminder that there was great disquiet among many in [Lincoln’s] Republican base that he didn’t sign it immediately. And there were those who felt it wasn’t enveloping enough. But it was what he could do, and it was momentous. And you are reminded of that constantly in that building, and it’s comforting to remember that you can only judge these things in the fullness of time.”

What’s astonishing is just how suddenly such liberal-dream issues like gun control, immigration reform, and marriage equality have dominated the outset of Obama’s second term. I point out to Axelrod that these would seem to be perfect lessons in presidential patience: how unseen events can create, out of thin air, political opportunities over once intractable issues. “There’s no question about it,” he says. “We have a chance now to get immigration done, whereas we didn’t have that chance in the last four years. The awareness of the gaping holes in our gun laws is much greater now as a result of the tragedy in Newtown. But you have to grab that moment. That’s how progress is made. And the longer you serve in the presidency, the more you learn that.”

Though President Obama faces moral quagmires of every imaginable sort in every part of the world, from the Keystone oil pipeline to drone strikes to peace in the Middle East, in the big picture, he will no doubt be remembered for ordering the assassination of Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq and hopefully Afghanistan. But if he accomplishes even part of the agenda he laid out in his inaugural address, he has the chance to go down in history as one of the greatest domestic-policy presidents ever. The issues that he’s prioritized—health care, reviving the economy, education, and now, gun control, immigration reform, and marriage equality—are first and foremost family issues. The First Lady’s initiatives—military families and childhood nutrition and health—likewise are about as domestic as you can get. If you think about it, who better than the man who can’t wait to get home to his wife and kids every night at 6:30—the Dad-in-Chief—to carry the flag on what the future of the American Family should look like?

“Well, I’ll tell you,” says President Obama, his wife looking at him with a beatific smile as our interview winds down, “everything we have done has been viewed through the lens of family. And I mean family broadly conceived. I was raised by a single mom. We have kids in our family who were adopted. We have people from every race, every economic stratum; we have gay and lesbian couples who have been part of our lives for years. And all of them, what’s consistent is that sense that we look out for each other. And that’s the lens through which we’ve always viewed our public service. . . . Broadening this fierce sense that we have of: I’ve got your back. Beyond just the immediate family to the larger American family, and making sure everybody’s included and making sure that everybody’s got a seat at the table. . . .

“The work I did in the first couple of years to make sure we didn’t go into a Great Depression—that was family policy. Both of us, given our upbringings, know what it’s like when money is tight. Both of us know when a parent feels disappointed because they can’t do everything they can for their kids and the stresses and strains and the emotions that arise out of that. So, making sure people have jobs, making sure the economy is working, making sure that people’s savings aren’t dissipating—those have all been family policy as well. But there’s no doubt that as we stabilize the economy, part of what I’ve tried to argue, and certainly a major theme in my inauguration speech, was this idea that we’re all family, that we have obligations to each other, that we don’t just think about ourselves. This is a common enterprise. If I live in a city where I know kids are getting a good education, my life is better, even if they’re not my kids. If I know that women are getting paid the same as men for doing the same work, then when I have daughters, I’m going to feel confident that they’re going to be able to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. If I am looking out for that same-sex couple, making sure that they’ve got the same rights as everybody else does, then I’m confident that they’ll look out for somebody in my family who has some sort of difference, that they’re not going to be discriminated against, because that same principle applies. And that idea really is sort of at the heart of, not just my presidency, but who I am. And Michelle has applied that same idea with her work in Joining Forces and thinking about kids and nutrition. Look, they’re all our kids! They’re all our families.”

The day after my interview with the Obamas, I head back to the White House to attend a presentation ceremony for the National Science & Technology Medals laureates and their families. The Marine Corps band is playing jazz in the Entrance Hall, just inside the North Portico, as the attendees mill around, sipping soda and juice. Trumpets blare, “Ruffles and Flourishes” plays, and the president makes his entrance into the East Room. “If there is one idea that sets this country apart,” he says from his blue podium, “one idea that makes us different from every other nation on Earth, it’s that here in America, success does not depend on where you were born or what your last name is. . . .”

After the presentation, I am taken into the Blue Room, where there will be an opportunity for the medal recipients to pose for photographs with the forty-fourth president of the United States of America. Word comes that it will be another 20 minutes, and so a handful of staffers and I hang in the back of the room, scrolling through our BlackBerrys. Suddenly, a side door opens, and there he is, by himself, unannounced. The president spots me standing in the back of the room and shouts, “JonaTHAN!” It is how I imagine he might say my name on the court right after I sank a three-pointer just before the buzzer to win the game.

All the technology-medal recipients, most of them men in their 70s and 80s, are lined up on either side of the president for a group photo, which the president immediately begins to art-direct himself. You two get on this side. . . . We need one more person over here. . . . You stand next to me. That man is Art Rosenfeld, known in his field as “the godfather of efficient energy.” He is 86 and frail, and as they wait for some of the others to arrive, Rosenfeld struggles a bit. Just as the other men are being hustled into the room and lined up, Obama steadies Rosenfeld and then leans down and sweetly says in his ear, in a tone that every loving father in the world would recognize: “I gotcha.”

– March 14, 2013 12:01a.m.


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September 20, 2010


’Insanity can’t separate us’•Amazing story of a mentally-ill mother and her 13-year old daughter

By Evelyn Osagie Published 22/08/2009 News Rating: Unrated

Being mentally-challenged is such a traumatic experience which instantly makes one a social outcast. And because of the rather unpredictable behaviour associated with such people, show of affection, care and love is often in short supply. But in Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria, as EVELYN OSAGIE reports, not even insanity, as it were, has been able to separate 13-year-old girl, Indian, from her mentally-challenged mother as she has determinedly been caring and showing love and affection to Mama Indian, her mother. This, she does, not minding who is looking at her.

IT has been five solid years now. The barely covered market stalls and open sheds have provided Mama Indian with whatever shelter she needed. Silently, she would sit on the ground looking straight ahead as if pondering over something. She holds up her jaw with both palms as if waiting for something or nothing in particular, completely oblivious of every activity around her. Her systems have practically adapted to the changes and vagaries of the weather. The heat and cold have come to mean nothing to her just as the yellow sun and the starry sky have also become her close companions. And of course, the dustbin nearby and dirty drainage close by have also become her kitchen and bathtubs. Everyone seems to come and go except these elements and her little daughter, Indian, whom she lovingly and fondly calls by her name. This is the puzzling world of love between a mentally-challenged mother and a loving and caring daughter, which has made it impossible for her to ditch, reject or deny her mother.

Light-skinned Indian is, of course, not an American, an Indian or of Asian descent. She is a full-blooded Nigerian. But what makes her unique is her love for her mentally-sick mother. Though almost as helpless as a 13-year-old would be in the situation, Indian has nevertheless not lost focus and she hopes a better future will come her way some day. And nobody can grudge her for that, if only as a reciprocation of all the care and concern she is giving to her mother, even in her demented state.

If ever you hold the notion that the mentally-challenged do not know or recognise members of their household, you are damn wrong. For Mama Indian, every morning, as school children file past in droves to their various schools, she would patiently wait to see her daughter before getting involved in any other activity for the day. She keeps this task with precision and it is same in the evenings. She is always sure of getting one or two things from her daughter, who always makes sure she has a gift for her mother. Sometimes the kind-hearted Indian brings her mother’s food from home.

Although worlds apart in terms of mental balance, the girl and her mother are always together in mind and spirit. The love that exists between the two goes beyond the state of their mental health, it is beyond the issue of sanity or insanity, it pervades eternity. They have not allowed their fate, distance, or space to separate the cord that binds them as mother and child. Perhaps, the guilty party in this game of care and affection, if any, is Indian who has kept her mother lucidly in love amidst insanity. All that seems to matter to her most is getting education and reaching out with love to her mother.

The closest one often hears or sees of affection being shown to the mentally-challenged by their loved ones is when they come to show some solidarity with these loony fellows under the cover of the night. Only a few could dare the daylight and reach out to theirs in such a precarious condition. Whether in the day or night, some psychologists say, the show of love adds to their lifespan. No doubt, the story of Indian and her mother has given ample meaning to the maxim, ‘Blood is thicker than water’.

Indian comes across as a brainy young girl with a heart of gold. Teachers in her village testified to it but add that she needs a lot of encouragement. Life has not been fair to this little girl with big heart. Everyone talks about this intelligent young girl who sometimes follows her mother about to make sure the sick woman is kept out of trouble and the dustbin.

Indian was a student of Pilot Primary School, Chessu. She finished her primary education in 2008 but could not go further due to lack of assistance from any source. So, she now spends her time following her mother about from a distance to make sure she does not stray too far from her reach.

“I don’t want her to get lost, that is why I am always on her trail,” she said, when asked why she is always following her mother at a distance. She explained that she is “no more a kid” as an excuse for keeping an eye on her mother from a distance. Even when her mother behaves in a way that could embarrass her sometimes, the young girl remains unperturbed and goes about helping the woman to get out of the problem she might put herself.

Keeping her clean was a special thing to her. “I want to make sure she is clean and neat always but before I will come back, she would have sat or sleep on the floor and soil herself again,” she said.

She is often seen plaiting Mama Indian’s hair and dressing her with clean clothes. In fact, for these reasons, Indian is usually reproached by some. Her mother’s insanity and the fact that she goes about begging also sets her in the black book of some who feel she should have more important things to do with her life.

Meeting Indian was an interesting experience. After trying to see her twice without any luck, this reporter finally met her on this hot Sunday afternoon. Shocked at the large size of her family because one had thought she was all alone in the world.

The first time the reporter was told that Indian had gone to a nearby village for something they could not disclose. At the third visit, a lady answered and went in to call her.

Standing before one was a shy-looking girl. She emerged from the back of a mud house that served as her grandparents’ house. “Good afternoon ma,” she said and sat on a cane chair in front of the house.

“How are you?” “Fine,” she answered.

“Do you understand English?” “Yes,” she said.

“What is your name?” “Indian Ayuba,” she said in a tiny voice. “What class are you in?” “Primary Six.” But before the reporter and her escort could say anything else, they were interrupted by a young lad who claimed he was a cousin of hers. He asked the fellows around in Hausa language what the reporter had come for and he was duly briefed.

He then said in English: “She is very intelligent. In fact, she is the best in her mother’s compound.” Without further prompting, he went on: “She is level-headed, quiet and respectful and she is greatly interested in education.”

Back to Indian, the conversation continued:

“How is school?”


“I heard you like school a lot.”

“Yes, I do. My mother wants me to go to school. She tells me everyday.”

“So, you would be going to school tomorrow?” “No, I have finished Primary Six since last year, but I have not been to secondary.”


“Because, there is no money to send her to secondary school,” answered her cousin, who refused to give his name.

“There is no money to send me to school,” Indian answered for herself.

Asking her about her father was obviously a big embarrassment to her. She probably never expected it and she was visibly cut off guard. After a moment of silent and painful rumination, she volunteered an answer with difficulty. “My mother told me that he lived in the big city but I can’t remember,” she said.

“You see, her mother was living in town before the sickness started, she brought her home. She was very small then, and since then, she has been living here,” her cousin said.

“What about your mother?”

“You passed her by when coming,” Indian said.


“She is in the market, you passed her by when coming here. She is not very well,” her voice had become emotional at the mention of her mother.

The road to Indian’s place is tarred, one could easily be carried away by the smooth ride that one may fail to notice the market some miles before.

“Who has been taking care of you since your mother became ill?”

“My grandmother.”

“Did you see your mother today?”

“Yes, I see my mother everyday. I make sure she is okay, even today, we saw, we were together.”

“So, you see her everyday?”

“Yes, when I was still going to school, I see her every morning before going to school and whenever I come back. I used to stay with her, especially, in the morning or evening,” she said with so much pride that one would have thought she was trying to impress one.

She continued: “Whenever I was going to school, my mother would wait for me. She would call my name, look at me and ask if I was okay. She would ask me if I had eaten. Even today, we saw and she still asked me the same question.

“Most times, I plait her hair and change her clothes. People laugh at me but I don’t always care what people think, she is my mother and I love her. Her present condition cannot separate us. When I grow up, I will bring her to live with me. She will oblige me if I ask her to live with me,” she said innocently, her eyes were now red.

“So, people laugh at you because of your mother?”

She is being stigmatised in school, and in the village.

“Yes, both in school and in the village. They call me the daughter of a sick mother, and they usually say I would soon be like my mother. These remarks disturb me a lot,” she said.

Turning to her cousin, this reporter asked why nothing was done to take the mother off the street. He said the question should be directed to Mama Indian’s father. At the back of the house there sat Koja Ayuba, Indian’s grandfather.

He is nothing like Indian or his daughter, he is tall and dark.

“Good afternoon Sir.”

“Good afternoon,” Indian’s cousin said he does not understand English that much. He explained that it had been “about five years now. She used to stay in Lafia before she became sick and they brought her here.”

“Why was nothing done to cure her of her illness?”

“We tried our best but she does not like taking medicine. And then the situation became worse that she no longer comes home again but she doesn’t look for trouble. She minds her own business and we take care of her sometimes.”

“Why have you not been able to send Indian to secondary school?”

“Lack of money is what has prevented my grand daughter from going to school. She is not the only one but what can we do? I am old as you can see.”

After speaking with the old man, the cousin suggested a meeting with the woman at the market.

On getting to the market, Indian came down and went straight to meet with a dark-complexioned lady, wearing a black dress. Even with her appearance, one could see she was once a beautiful woman. She was wearing a blouse and a wrapper, and she had a hair extension on her head (courtesy of Indian, of course). She appeared to be in her thirties.

She was busy in her own world when Indian met her and a drama ensued.

Immediately Indian met her, her countenance changed. She became calm and attentive. From a fairly safe distance, one watched how the two exchanged pleasantries and Indian, probably, taking time to explain to her that she had visitors who meant no harm. Before one knew it, she was walking towards the team with her mother. When they got close to them, she knelt down and greeted the team in Hausa Language. Encouraged by her action, the reporter moved close to her and asked how she was doing. She answered that she felt good, still in Hausa language. And then she said with pride: “Indian, she is my daughter and she is a nice girl”, a claim that moved one almost to tears. Curiously when she was offered money she refused it and rather directed that it be given to her daughter that she needs it more than her. Oh, what a boundless maternal love!

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17 Responses to “’Insanity can’t separate us’•Amazing story of a mentally-ill mother and her 13-year old daughter”

Oreshile sulaiman ademola at 22 Aug 2009 7:23:36 AM WAT Oreshile sulaiman ademola Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 7:23:36 AM WAT

I must tell u i have never read anything dat made me shed tears as dis. The article is super emotion

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tobi Jos at 22 Aug 2009 9:12:13 AM WAT tobi Jos Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:12:13 AM WAT

tears in my eyes. we all have to do smoothing for this girl. How can we go about it.

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ADA at 22 Aug 2009 9:33:40 AM WAT ADA Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:33:40 AM WAT


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Adeyemi sam. olusegun at 22 Aug 2009 9:48:10 AM WAT Adeyemi sam. olusegun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:48:10 AM WAT

As i was reading the article my eyes became red before i new what was happening tears came out and could not eat again.This is pathectic.How do we assist this girl to get back to school.

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shillingford at 22 Aug 2009 9:59:54 AM WAT shillingford Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:59:54 AM WAT

we are really in a different world, this is an emotional story of true love, how i wish we have a responsible government with an organise social security system that will help this young princess to achieve her mothers dream of going to school? oh my god! may god in his infinate mercy give her the courage to continue this good work of taking care of her only mother and provide all her needs

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Adekunle Olayiwola at 22 Aug 2009 10:13:34 AM WAT Adekunle Olayiwola Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 10:13:34 AM WAT

I want to implore the reporter to take further step in this matter. I thought PDP govt promises free 9-year basic education for all. This girl must not be allowed to waste away, considering her intelligence and great human feelings. I wish to read later that she has been promptly enrolled in a secondary school and necessary resources for her proper upbring are being provided. Please come to her rescue fellow Nigerians.

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dele at 22 Aug 2009 11:14:48 AM WAT dele Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 11:14:48 AM WAT

Blood is really thicker than water.This is THE NATION’s project now.Any how you may want to go about it,Evelyn Osagie,the girl must go to school and the mother taken care of.You may involve NTA Newsline too.I’ll like to read of the devt soon.

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Abdjeleel lawal at 22 Aug 2009 1:56:24 PM WAT Abdjeleel lawal Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 1:56:24 PM WAT

Oh! My eyes full of tears,a big pity 4 indian and her mum,wit my own view i tink solution as come dat y dis is being published becos i wonda y now and y nt b4 dis time.also suggest Acct open 4 d girl 4 well meaning nigerians 2 contribute 2 d future of dis young girl..Am also a student bt i tink my own and urs little contribtn can make a difference,so help us God.amin..

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Isa HASSAN at 22 Aug 2009 2:07:42 PM WAT Isa HASSAN Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 2:07:42 PM WAT

I was moved to tears on reading this article i think the govt and kind hearted Nigerians should help INDIA so that she could give her mother a well deserve life.God bless Her.

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Abduljeleel at 22 Aug 2009 2:50:57 PM WAT Abduljeleel Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 2:50:57 PM WAT

Oh!my eyes full of tears,dis is serious,any way it is now time 4 me and u 2 come 2 indian and her mother 2 aids,am also a student and am nt pray 4 dis,so am suggesting an Acct open 4 dos dat wish 2 contribute…i cant just wait 2 read d latest update on dis issue becos dis an urgenlt case.

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DAMBO at 22 Aug 2009 2:56:59 PM WAT DAMBO Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 2:56:59 PM WAT


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Shodiya Olukayode Ayodeji at 22 Aug 2009 4:18:23 PM WAT Shodiya Olukayode Ayodeji Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 4:18:23 PM WAT

To me, it is highly emotionally. The last paragraph really touched me. I think Indian, needs more attention in which will be directly refers to the mother as well. We read in the same paragraph that the money offered her (the mother), she direct it to Indian. Because, She cares for her Mother. Her educational life needs to be boost. I pray that God in his Infinite Mercy touch her Mum and heal her of her illness in Jesus Mighty Name. It is really touching…It really a big bundle of maternal love.

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Alhaji at 22 Aug 2009 5:10:51 PM WAT Alhaji Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 5:10:51 PM WAT

Enough of this emotion expressions. Osagie, my daughter, please, this matter of MAMA INDIA must be brought to the attention of the First Lady of Nassarawa State.If she fails to do anything humanely as expected, then, she is not worthy of that office. I know she has many conflicting demanding situation like this, but this should be given utmost attention and priority. Both mother and child are within redeemable distance of the First Lady. Please, Please, Please, my daughter, Osagie, you got a can to carry on this issue. You cannot be tired. If there is a way you want us to assist, get in touch with me through my e-mail. Remember that Abike Dabiri became famous because of the then controversial miracle baby girl,MARY. We are watching . This may be your own chance.

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Obi at 22 Aug 2009 7:48:01 PM WAT Obi Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 7:48:01 PM WAT

I am a Nigerian residing in the U.S. This story is not shocking because it is happening as we speak in many locales across Nigeria. What is touchingly uncommon about this story is the unwavering dedication of a CHILD to countering the stereotypical ignorant judgements of the adult world surrounding her and which she helplessly has to depend on but assuredly not for too long. Yes, it brought tears to mine and your eyes and NOW WHAT? SPARE ME!! IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME. Evelyn Osagie has opened a wound that afflicts us all but being the bearer of this news might want to go further and I beg her time in partnering with me and my US based Nigerian organization in this effort. I apologize for my tone but there comes a time when we should in the words of the late President John Kennedy (USA) “ask not what your country can do for you, but instead what you can do for your country”. Evelyn, you have my e-mail address and I will research a more direct way of reaching you possibly via your newspaper and things would start happening instantly for Indian. It is about her. Sorry, I cannot reveal more personal information through this means due to the tireless 419 correspondence that these things generate.

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Seyi at 22 Aug 2009 9:50:41 PM WAT Seyi Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 9:50:41 PM WAT

I really shed tears after reading dis article for d heart of gold possess by this little girl pls do a follow up 4 pplp 2 b able 2 help d india n mother

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bello biodun at 22 Aug 2009 10:41:58 PM WAT bello biodun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 22 Aug 2009 10:41:58 PM WAT

I have never in my life moved this way.This is the area where wealthy Nigerians need to invest. though i dont have much,but i believe with the little i have and my prayer in this only month of ramadan, this young girl will achieve her mother wish and mother india will be well in shall~allah amin

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Billie at 23 Aug 2009 10:09:24 AM WAT Billie Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 23 Aug 2009 10:09:24 AM WAT

Where are the NGOs, where is the wife of governor,the philanthropists this girl most complete education pls save the poor girl and her mother from diein.

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Emotions on “Insanity can’t separate us…

By Our Reporter Published 25/08/2009 News Rating: Unrated

On Saturday, The Nation ran a story entitled: “‘Insanity can’t separate us’ Amazing story of a mentally-ill mother and her 13-year old daughter.”

Since then, there have been reactions from home and abroad by readers touched the story.

The responses have not ceased coming. Here are some of them:

Oreshile Sulaiman Ademola:

I must tell you I have never read anything that made me shed tears as this. The article is super-emotional.

Tobi, Jos:

Tears in my eyes.We all have to do smoothing for this girl. How can we go about it?Ada:

Indian needs to be helped to complete her education so she in turn can give her mother a decent life away from the market. How can one send help to her?

Adeyemi Sam Olusegun:

As I was reading the article, my eyes became red before I new what was happening tears came out and I could not eat again. This is pathectic. How do we assist this girl to get back to school?

Joseph Ameh:

I’ll like to offer the little girl a school scholarship to secondary school. Please, if you guys can connect me to the family I will appreciate and also take the mother to church for prayers. I advised the mother should go get a medical report. I will be willing to pick her bills. Obi:

I am a Nigerian residing in the U.S. This story is not shocking because it is happening as we speak in many localities across Nigeria. What is touchingly uncommon about this story is the unwavering dedication of a child to countering the stereotypical ignorant judgments of the adult world surrounding her and which she helplessly has to depend on but assuredly not for too long. Yes, it brought tears to mine and your eyes. I apologise for my tone but there comes a time when we should in the words of the late President John Kennedy (USA) “ask not what your country can do for you, but instead what you can do for your country”. Dele:

Blood is really thicker than water. This is The Nation’s project now. Any how you may want to go about it; this girl must go to school and the mother taken care of. You may involve NTA Newsline too. I’ll like to read of the development soon.

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8 Responses to “Emotions on “Insanity can’t separate us…”

Bode at 25 Aug 2009 3:34:02 AM WAT Bode Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 3:34:02 AM WAT

Yes, I read the story and like many others, it brought tears to my eyes. Everyone whose heart God has touched should please contribute to helping this girl and her mother. Nothing could be too small. Whatever problem the mother might have, there are people in Nigeria who are capable of helping to heal her. This is a story of unusual love and affection.

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AKINOLA M.A. at 25 Aug 2009 6:59:23 AM WAT AKINOLA M.A. Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 6:59:23 AM WAT

This story is heart rending and very touching…I read the story the very day it was published and i never realized there was space for readers reaction…Anyway,this newspaper should take this issue up as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).Set up a current account in her name and publish it so that donors will who are willing to help can pay directly into her account…I have no illusion about the virtue of the oppressed only the need to relieve the oppression..Action speaks louder than voice…it’s time to act!

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segun, Israel at 25 Aug 2009 9:38:20 AM WAT segun, Israel Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 9:38:20 AM WAT

I pray that we would one day have a government that is conscious of her social responsibility to the peopla.

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Lere Ojedokun at 25 Aug 2009 9:43:31 AM WAT Lere Ojedokun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 9:43:31 AM WAT

The article was a five-star piece. It was a hallmark of investigative journalism. While I commend Reporter and The Nation for this great work, I strongly appeal to the newspaper organisation to take up the plight of this hapless girl and mom. They both deserve decent living.

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Atat at 25 Aug 2009 10:41:04 AM WAT Atat Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 25 Aug 2009 10:41:04 AM WAT

This is by far the best story i’ve read in the Nigerian dailies this year. It was really touching. How can one contribute his widow’s mite to this little angel?

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Queen Tee at 25 Aug 2009 1:00:52 PM WAT Queen Tee Rating: Unrated (

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