Standstill

Ifeoluwa — By Ifeoluwa from Nigeria

This project was completed as part of a special course on electricity, in partnership with the Enel Foundation.

When I wake in the morning, inside my room in Ibadan, Nigeria, my eyes quickly dart to the electrical socket on the wall opposite my bed. After confirming with this involuntary action, that there is indeed electricity, then comes the rush to plug my laptop and phone for charging because the availability of electricity determines my capability to work and earn. Without electricity, my life and career as a freelance writer come to a standstill. This is very much the case because I have weaned myself off the paper and the pen. Gone are the days when I could not write straight up on my laptop and scribbled first on a notepad. By way of adaptation to the absence of constant electricity, I have had to learn to write full stories on my smartphone. The 4500mAh battery capacity of my phone was the most important factor in purchasing it.

In Nigeria, petrol and diesel generators are the common alternative sources of electricity. At night, the loud noises of generators sync with the natural sounds of the environment. In my house, we have two petrol generators. When there is no power, we use the higher powered generator to run the pump which supplies water from the deep well into the house while the smaller generator serves to provide lighting and to charge phones and rechargeable lanterns. When the generators give up on us after continuous use for weeks, I often wield the spanner trying to clean the corroded plugs. When that fails, we need to look for a technician to fix the generator. This sometimes means staying without electricity for several hours.

generator
Generators: the only reliable source of electricity.

During the hot months, which tend to be longer than the wet and cooler months, with no electricity to operate the fan I experience night sweats and sleeplessness spurred by the combination of the heat and noise from the loud generators operating in the environment. By morning, I often wake weak and cranky with a heavy head, reducing my level of productivity throughout the day. Things get to a head during periods of petrol scarcity when there is unsteady electricity supply and we cannot purchase fuel for the generators. The foods in the fridge start to go bad; when I boil and fry the frozen turkey, it tastes funny like roasted bush meat. I comfort myself with the idea that it is a new acquired taste and push away thoughts of diarrhea induced by food poisoning; I am reluctant to throw away food bought with my hard-earned money.

On the days when there is continuous electricity supply for 12 hours non-stop, I stare at the bulb with a sense of foreboding slowly settling over me. The usual pattern is electricity becoming steadier for about one or two weeks followed by a protracted lack of electricity thereafter. The typical culprits – a fault in the transformer, vandalisation or theft of cables, and felled cables as a result of heavy rainfall, not so common but tenable – highlight the biggest problem in the power sector: lack of sustainability. Unstable electricity supply has become so deeply ingrained in my daily life that I almost consider it a norm. Where do we go from here?

On January 22, 2017, when the Transmission Company of Nigeria announced that the nation’s power generation capacity had dropped to 2,662 megawatts, I knew the electricity situation had just taken a nose dive because that power capacity is supposed to cater to an approximate land mass of 910,770 sq. km. In 2013, I had conceived some hope when the Nigerian government decided to privatise the electricity generation and distribution companies with an aim towards improvement. We now have one transmission company, six generation companies and eleven distribution companies. However, to my disappointment, the names just changed but the system remained the same. This notion is strongly supported by the refusal of the public to adopt the use of the new companies’ names – everyone still refers to them by the former government-owned name – NEPA (National Electricity Power Authority). That acronym has acquired a popular different meaning – ‘Never expect power always’.

Some of the problems ailing the distribution companies include lack of maintenance as the facilities develop faults incessantly and the maintenance fees being paid as part of the electric bill seem to be misappropriated. I am projecting that the privatisation failed to change the situation for the better because the restructuring only resulted in a decentralised system and did not leave room for healthy competition. We are still constrained to use a particular distribution company according to the location one resides in. I believe if we have the freedom to choose from the distribution companies available without being restricted by our location, we can trigger better service delivery as each of the companies will step up to the risk of losing their consumers. I realise the kind of structure I am proposing may not be as simplistic as it sounds, but it can be achieved with proper provisions being made.

At present, the major concern in the energy sector in Nigeria remains the generation of higher megawatts from hydro/thermal plants to reach the total populace. Apart from the provision of solar panels, which is mostly facilitated by international organisations targeting the rural areas to power the preservation of vaccines and other medical amenities where there is a higher lack of electricity, there is very little research in the area of renewable energy. This is justified partly by its attendant high cost.

Recently, a South African Telecommunications company in Nigeria started offering a Mobile Solar Home System to their subscribers. This at best represents an elite solution to a problem which affects both the rich and poor. In Nigeria, the national minimum wage is 18,000 Naira and this solar system is priced at 26,000 Naira minus the inclusive monthly subscription fee. Therefore, for solar energy to be a verifiable solution to electricity problems in Nigeria, government will have to provide major initial subsidies to make it accessible to everyone irrespective of their social or economic class. There is also a vital need for relevant researches to be conducted on experimental sources of renewable energy. A friend once told me of an individual in Porto Novo, the capital city of Benin, in West Africa, investing in the conversion of gases derived from animal wastes to generate electricity. I was at once captivated by such an innovative idea which can easily be adopted in Nigeria with its dominant agrarian cultures.

For most Nigerian youths, we have been conditioned to think government has to do everything for us because of the lack of an enabling environment riddled with corruption and ineffectual governance. However, we need to accept that we all have a part to play. Whether through demanding accountability from our government to foster the right solutions and develop a sustainable program or facilitating more academic and field researches on the possibilities of renewable energy, we just need to start and do something.

As I type these concluding lines, I can hear children in my neighborhood, squealing in delight – ‘Up NEPA!’ a welcoming herald of electricity being restored in our homes. I look forward to that day when 24-hour electricity becomes a reality in my country.

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The Epileptic Power Situation in Nigeria

 — By Lovelyn from Nigeria

Some of the most heart wrenching experiences of my life even from childhood are in some way related to the epileptic power situation in my country, Nigeria.

My first experience was at age 5. I was only allowed to partake in minor house chores, some of which included arranging my room, sweeping and a few other tasks in the kitchen. On one of the days, my mum needed to have a warm bath, and at this time, there had been a long period of power outage, and so to heat water, my sister had to use the cooker, instead of the electric heater. I was at the corner picking palm kernel seeds with which my mum was to make ofe-akwu (a local eastern delicacy). My sister lifted the boiling kettle, and before she could get hold of its handle as it flew off in a split of a second, the kettle landed on my back, emptying its content. The next thing I remembered, I was lying face down on a hospital bed.

Lovelyn1

My second experience was even more painful. In 2002, I lost a dear friend in a fire incident that occurred in his home. A very talented teenager, who had a bright future ahead of him. On this day, I had spent time with Akeem, talking about the future we saw, as he had just been admitted into the school of his dreams, University of Lagos, and by the evening of the same day, my friend was dead. Fire gutted his house as everyone went to bed. His 7 year old twin sisters lit a candle stick for their night studies, as there hadn’t been power supply in the area for months. And so while the candle burned, the girls dozed off, as the melted wax flowed into the mattress on the floor.

There have been more of such occurrences, not just for me, but for other 169 million Nigerians in the country. Homes, businesses and even relationships suffer. Everyone is affected directly or indirectly. Once at the University during my degree program, students took to the streets in protest, as a result of a long period of power outage in the area, the school generator had to be turned off at a specific time, and that meant that the students could not study for long hours or even be able to charge their phones.

For several decades, local and at times even nationwide power outages have been the norm instead of the exception. Current electricity generation is primarily from either gas-fired or hydro power plants, with natural gas the main fuel source for power generation in Nigeria. According to McKinsey in 2013, the power generation potential from domestic gas reserves in Nigeria was greater than 10,000 MW, which is relatively higher than the potential from domestic gas reserves in other African jurisdictions, but still falls significantly short of meeting the needs of its over 170 million inhabitants.

The power sector in Nigeria has had eight ministers in five years, yet there is no end in sight to the perpetual darkness that Nigerians have been subjected to.

Lovelyn2

According to the report by Thenewsnigeria, big companies that were employing thousands of Nigerians and paying billions of naira in taxes have either left for neighbouring countries such as Ghana and Ivory Coast or have shut down their operations outright because of corruption in the power sector that has impacted the real sector negatively. For instance, Dunlop Plc, a major tyre manufacturing company had to relocate to Ghana due to the rising cost of production that was traceable to the energy crisis in Nigeria.

Another major tyre major company that left the country as a result of the power crisis was Michelin. The company said it left the country because it could no longer generate enough electricity on its own to power its production.

Many of the companies that left are yet to return and the country is the worst for it. According to a report by the World Bank, Nigeria’s per capita electric consumption is 142 kWh which puts the country in the league of countries like Nepal (128kWh per capita), Sudan (159kWh), Togo (148kWh) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (110kWh). These are countries with much smaller populations and smaller requirements than Nigeria.

At home, the story is not different; my younger ones are forced to complete their homework under the strain of candle light or rechargeable lanterns (which most times are not well charged for the same reasons). Most nights, I have to consciously force myself to get some sleep as the sound of the neighbours’ generators blaring by my window made my head ache.

As though this is not enough trouble already, one is faced with monthly electricity bills, this is regardless of the fact that the service for which these high costs are furnished are never rendered.

On July 7, my Facebook friend, Gift Nwachukwu posted on Facebook thus: “Dear Enugu Electricity Distribution Company- EEDC, I have allocated 10,000 for your monthly upkeep. This is not for services rendered as you rendered none. It is simply for your upkeep as you are now my beneficiary. Enugu Electricity Distribution Company- EEDC kindly take note of this new arrangement.”

Lovelyn3

Nigeria’s power strategy is based on the use of natural gas which is abundantly available in Nigeria, is relatively cheaper than using diesel and other fuel oils, and burns cleaner. However, the ineffective security of the critical infrastructure for transmission, as well as questionable politics in the South-South region, has exposed these critical infrastructure to sabotage.

All of Nigeria’s natural gas comes from the South-South region, and in order for it to get to power plants around the country, it must be transported in thousands of kilometers of pipelines that run from the South-South region to the power plants that utilize the gas. In the process, the gas pipelines get vandalized which often times result to blackout.

If I were the minister of energy in Nigeria, one of my first tasks would be to tackle the security issue in the South-South bring an end to the vandalisation of the gas pipeline and ensure electricity is effectively managed in the country, even to the rural areas and also maximize available sources of renewable energy for the benefit of all.

Nigeria’s electricity challenge like many other challenges that the world faces can indeed be overcome if the youths of the nation are willing to take responsibility to change the current situation, rather than wasting precious time blaming the government. We are indeed the change that we have long desired and waited for, which is why a few of my friends and I came up with an initiative #WakeUpSouthEast, to awaken Nigerian youths especially in the South Eastern part of the country to wake up and seek ways to make positive impact.

Indeed, a healthy and efficient power sector is critical to arresting growing unemployment, reducing crime rate, achieving economic diversification and rebounding the economy for sustainable development.

Electricity Generation in Nigeria: Problems and Likely Solution

franklin — By Franklin from Nigeria

This project was completed as part of a special course on electricity, in partnership with the Enel Foundation.

It’s the 21st century and it’s okay to say the importance of electricity cannot be overemphasized. When you come to think about it, electricity is used in every form of life: we use electricity to power our devices and stay connected with friends and family, we use electricity to preserve food using the microwave and freezer amidst many others, and we use electricity to make our work easier while sweeping with the vacuum cleaner or washing with the washing machine. All of these are just simple home applications of the wonder that is electricity. When it comes to its industrial use, electricity is very important. It is important in the areas of medicine, manufacturing, building and construction. Now, with all of this importance and more, think of a world without electricity or with electrical failure: communication will be lost, spoilage will occur leading to wastage, there will be more laborious activities and lives may even be lost. To avoid these problems, electricity has to be a constant to allow for the smooth running of day-to-day activities.

I live in Lagos, Nigeria and generally, in Nigeria, power is either hydro-electric or via thermal or fossil fuel, which make use of coal or natural gas. Here, power is first generated, transmitted and distributed to our houses. For each of these stages, there is a company attached to handling it. Now as of January 2017, Nigeria generates about 7,200 Megawatts of power. On the average, 1000 homes need about 1 Megawatt of power for constant electricity. What this means is that only 7.2 million homes can be powered with the amount of electricity that Nigeria generates. This estimate does not include companies and industries which require a very large amount of power. With a population of about 200 million, one can clearly see that the amount of power generated is way too low to allow for the constant supply we desire. If I were in power, one of the first things I’ll do is seek out other means of power generation. For a country that has sun every other day of the year, it’s surprising that Nigeria doesn’t make use of solar energy for power generation. There is also an abundance of gas in the country: little wonder we are the number 9 country in the world with the highest gas reserves. These other means of power generation should be looked into. This will further make the country’s power similar to the USA where power is distributed amongst various means like coal, natural gas, hydro, wind and solar, in that order.

Unfortunately for Lagos, which is the most populated city in Nigeria, the electricity is largely unstable. That’s what you get when the power generated is not enough. On some days, there’s power supply for six out of twenty-four hours, some days more, and some days even less. The truth is half of the people in Lagos, Nigeria rely on fueled generators for electricity. Aside from the noise that this comes with, they are pretty expensive to maintain and also fuel regularly. Some of the times, this power failure is due to poles and transformers spoilage, especially during the rainy season, and this may go on and on. In some parts of Lagos and the country as a whole, tax-paying individuals living in these areas affected by transformer issues have to rally around to contribute and fix these items. All of this happens when there’s a sitting government and it should not be. The government needs to work actively on her maintenance culture, protecting pipelines and poles and attending to them in cases where attention is required.

In addition, rotten eggs need to be flushed away from the power sector. In a sector where a lot of work needs to be done, it is funny to note that a lot of individuals working in this sector are interested in personal gains solely and have no business whatsoever with the state of the industry they’re in. These individuals do all within their power to siphon the funds being given to this industry in the name of greed.

With all these put in place, the problem of low power generation will hopefully be a thing of the past and constant power supply will be the new trend because honestly, that’s what we need right now.

The Light Switches That Never Work: Our Electricity Challenge and the Way Forward

Anibe — By Anibe from Nigeria

This project was completed as part of a special course on electricity in partnership with the Enel Foundation.

We have been without light for so long that the usual single lit candle is almost too bright to look at. There is a light switch just over the bed I share with my sisters. Only, like others in the house, it hasn’t worked in about five months. The switch is covered in the grease of hundreds of hands that keep hoping it will work.

You see, we have forgotten that these things are supposed to work — switches, water dispensers or even refrigerators. The saddest part for me is how our psyche, as a people, have been adversely affected — we have become as technologically up-to-date as a garden shed.

What more, the once vibrant-coloured walls at the backyard are stained with charcoal from local cooking stoves. Even the neon and white lights that used to flood from Buba’s bar across the road are extinguished as early as 8:00pm. Buba complains of how expensive it is fueling his generators in the current recession.

Recently, to our joy, there have been talks on taking waste management to the next level of reuse: renewable and recycling. Social entrepreneurs and the government talk big on TV about revolutionizing the way waste is treated from the point of generation by involving households and other waste production points in sorting and separation. They tell us how this would also provide health and environmental education to schools.

There have also been alarming reports of nonrenewable sources of energy such as oil, coal and gas depleting and of their contamination of the environment, especially carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. These reports are partly the reason why there have been calls for the exploration of other sources of energy that are cleaner, continuous and renewable like nuclear energy, sunshine, wind, plant oil, hydro, geothermal, etc.

Evidently, Nigeria has the technology/know-how and raw materials to completely switch to renewable energy. However, our own laws and policies prevent this from happening. Nigeria is an oil-rich country but only a few enjoy our common wealth. The oil industry may stall the development of this move by convincing the government into undermining alternative sources of energy. Apparently, switching completely to renewable energy would upset the comfortable lifestyle of many oil rig owners and marketers.

And so, our government would rather spend billions of Naira on fixing obsolete electricity plants that have refused to work than changing the infrastructure of society to be based on renewable energy. It is no news that we wouldn’t have to be dependent on crude oil for our fuel if we converted, but what exactly is the way forward?

The solution lies in Nigerians rising up to the challenge and understanding that many renewables are pretty modular and don’t have to be applied on a large scale like power plants or nuclear facilities. People can become their own energy producers and this will gradually erode the oil giants’ grip on the society.

Nigerians have to keep in mind that we don’t have to worry too much about running out of our non-renewable sources. Unlike crude oil, new reserves will always pop up and will last us hundreds, if not thousands of years. For us, the idea behind abolishing fossil fuels may just be more than just an approach to the climate change situation, the accessibility and affordability of renewable energy are even more important.

More so, renewable energy systems are clean and free from carbon emissions. Nigerians wouldn’t have to be afraid of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, acid rain and other negative impacts on health on our environment. Renewable energy has almost no negative influence on health and nature.

We also need local investors who would look forward to investments in renewable energy because it is an investment of value. The kind of investors we need are those with genuine interest in how the product will improve lifestyle and help to reduce negative environmental impact. Here, the growth in terms of money or benefits may not be immediately seen but they will be impacting on social life.

Finally, we need the Nigerian government to start becoming serious about carbon-dioxide emissions, providing subsidized renewable energy manufacturing and incentives for usage (e.g. financial aids for installing solar PV), etc. With initiatives such as these, manufacturing scale will be increased, efficient and cheap for investors and consumers.

With the right awareness, commitment and investments in renewable energy by Nigerians and the government, it is our hope that someday, soon, the light switches would work again.

Vulnerability and Strength

Toby (1) — By Tobenna from Nigeria

 

The streets of Lagos are notorious for one too many reasons. 
I got caught in a web of one, and this is my story.


A year ago on a sunny afternoon, I left for a nearby bank on an errand to make some deposits. As I was walking, still a few paces from my destination, a little boy caught my attention. I made mental guesses of what his age could be, then settled for 8. Eight years old. He looked ragged, and in the air around him was a stench. My conscience pricked me upon seeing him head my way, making gestures with his hands, asking for help. I had nothing more than my transportation fares and the exact amount to be deposited at the bank.
He looked weak. By his appearance it was clear he needed immediate attention and bouts of love. Going against the urge in my heart to run from this scenario that could get me into trouble, I made efforts to engage the little man in a discussion, in order to get information with which I could work. I made several attempts, but what became evident was he didn’t seem to understand the English I spoke. Making a few utterances in Yoruba, which is the language of the people of western Nigeria, it was obvious that I needed someone who could help translate what the boy tried to get across to me. I desperately wanted to help this boy. A day could hardly go by without a headline in a leading newspaper reporting cases of missing children who hadn’t returned home…one to two years later. 
“This could be an opportunity to save a mother’s heart from pain” I thought to myself. With this, I forged ahead with renewed diligence to do all I could to get this young man to safety. 
I then looked around for a passerby who ‘looked’ Yoruba, but seeing that this wasn’t working, I made for the kiosk of a food vendor [who I had heard seconds ago, speak over the phone] with the little man, introducing myself and the situation at hand. To this she obliged and even offered the boy a free plate of white rice and stew. 
As he ate, she initiated a conversation with him and it appeared that our man was a long way from home. Then it occurred to me that taking him to the nearest police station would be a good decision to take. 
And as we were walking to the police station, we were stopped by some mean looking street thugs who demanded to know where I was taking the little boy to. Surprised by their confrontation, I narrated the whole story to them, but to my greatest surprise, I was accused of kidnap, right before my very eyes.

“…The streets of Lagos are notorious for one too many reasons.”
The group of four morphed into one who was over twenty, agitated, and fixing mean gazes at me -the type given to people accused of kidnap, guilty, or not. Each man threw questions at me. Questions that I failed to answer, because I had become numb from the situation and the feeling that I had been caught in the web of one of these notorious situations. 
I stood there with tears flowing down my reddened cheeks, not knowing what to say and watching people chant, “Ole! Kidnapper!!” 
This continued until an imam present amongst the crowd quieted them, then asked me to explain myself with regards to the accusations leveled against me, which I did with the last bit of strength left in my mind and body. 
After taking in my account and thinking for a moment, he concluded that I had done nothing wrong to deserve what I was being put through. He then asked that I be allowed away from the location to where I had to go to. 
It was dramatic as I walked through the crowd to board a commercial motorcycle, and as we rode, it dawned on me that I had been a victim of false accusation. 
The little man was planted to attack vulnerable ones such as me.

He wasn’t so little after all, when I saw him amidst familiar faces two weeks later.

The Strength of Womanhood

Picture1 — By Ejiro from Nigeria

It was the second week in December 1953, warming up for the Christmas celebrations. Daniel and Dorris welcomed their baby girl called Caroline. Daniel was a very handsome man, held a chieftaincy title in his community, and had four wives. Dorris was the second of his wives and he loved her dearly. Unlike other female children at that time, Caroline was fortunate to acquire an education. Daniel was educated and believed education was the legacy any parent could give to their child, regardless of being male or female. As such, all Daniel’s children attended school and attained different levels of education. He was well to do, and provided all thirty-seven of his children with all the pleasures of life.

Caroline was one of Daniel’s favourite children. She was very petite in size but very beautiful. She was soft spoken, brilliant, and loved to study, hence capturing the heart of her father. Caroline completed her A-Levels in a teaching profession and had plans of furthering to the University. She met Clement, a young medical surgeon who had just returned from abroad. He too was tall, handsome, eloquent, and most importantly, very intelligent, which was what captivated Caroline. They fell in love and Clement proposed marriage. He promised Caroline that she would complete her education from his house, as his wife. Blinded by love, with so much trust, she accepted and they got married. She was much envied by her family and friends. She had it all, married to a rich, handsome, highly educated man. Also to add, Clement was the only man  who owned a Jaguar car which was the latest at the time. This was every woman’s dream!

Then reality struck and this bed was not one of roses as Caroline imagined. Her seemingly perfect life gradually began to turn ugly. Her dream of furthering her education was aborted with childbearing and other wifely responsibilities. In addition, she also had to deal with Clement’s frequent anger tantrums, verbal and emotional abuses, and hatred for her family. He never let them visit. She lost everything: her dreams of education, her friends, her loving family, and herself in its entirety. All efforts to maintain peace in this home proved abortive. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was having to share her husband with two other women. Clement married two other wives and life became even worse. She was eventually thrown out of the house heavily pregnant. Clement refused to take her back and that was the end of this unpleasant journey which started radiantly. Caroline who used to be full of smiles, calm, and very charming had evolved into a very sad, gloomy, and unhappy woman with no hope for the future. She was only thirty-one years old at the time.

She swore to never give Clement the last laugh. She gave birth to a set of twin girls and had three girls in total for Clement.

Leaving the children with her mother, when they turned one-year old, Caroline moved to the Northern part of the country with her elder sister. She was determined to rebuild her life and create a better future for her girls. She took back her children and began raising them herself. Enduring so many hardships, from losing her only son to the lack of basic needs like befitting clothes and so on. She opened a small grocery store where she sold fruits, food stuff, and other items. This phase of Caroline’s life she hated so much, because she had to struggle at the farmers’ market to buy her products for the grocery store. This was not the life she envisaged for herself.

Nevertheless, she kept looking forward with so much optimism and support from her family, who never abandoned her at this trying time. Eventually, some ray of light!!! Caroline secured a job with the State’s Civil Service using her A-levels degree, which meant better income and a befitting quality of life for her and her children. She worked there for several years. In pursuit of her dream, at age fifty Caroline enrolled in a university to pursue a degree in Accountancy along with her girls, who were now grown. She graduated the same year as her second daughter, and proceeded to attain a professional certification as a chartered accountant. At fifty-seven, not only was Caroline a chartered accountant, but all her girls were graduates too.

Today, all three of her girls are Masters degree holders and established women in different walks of life. Her oldest daughter is married with two girls also. Caroline like so many women in Africa, weathered the storm with determination, hard work, and indeed God’s grace. She changed the gloomy story of her life to one of motivation for her girls, other women in Africa, and the world at large.

I am indeed very proud to be one of the daughters of this great and courageous woman, my role model and inspiration. She continues to inspire me in the work I do today.

I respect the labour of womanhood and the strength that lies therein. Promoting and protecting the rights of women is my life-long vision and commitment. I believe every woman deserves to live their dreams!

This blog post is also featured on Woman.ng, a website “for the Nigerian woman, by Nigerian women.”

Woman; Human

Chinemerem — By Chinemerem from Nigeria

He asked me, “Are you angry?” I said “No. I’m not.” And he said “Good. It’s right that you’re not the kind to get mad so easily. You know, women shouldn’t.” 
And it was this, more than anything else, that got me seething with rage. 
You see,

I can be angry.
I can be careless.
I can be very short-tempered.
I can be aggressive.
•••••
I can be sexually reckless.
I do have feelings – all kinds.
I can be lazy.
•••••
I can be talkative.
I can be disrespectful.
I can be unsubmissive.
I’m capable of hatred.
•••••
I am not perfect.

These are not the best traits, but it’ll be foolhardy to pretend that they don’t exist in me.
It is a disservice to womanhood that the society has conditioned it to be something of perfection, and nothing less.

This desire to be likeable; to please people; to not show anger, even if you’re angry; this need to always smile, even when you’re hurt. All these, stifle our humanity as women. 
I refuse to be perceived as a ‘special’ creature. I refuse to accommodate hurt, just so I can be likeable. I am not sacred. I am human. Just human.

I am a woman; and I’m capable of imperfection!