THE SPOUSE OF SENTIMENTS


Daddy smiled and coughed light,
Understanding my explained plight.
Men are lonely and they know,
Yet they conspire not to let show.

These women are assisted all through
By their very own sex, unlike you.
Firstly by mothers or sisters, then peers.
All thrust, show or coax their shares.

Ladies understand the bodies world well
As they grow so guided, you can tell.
The boy discovers on his very own.
And thus, what he finds is his fun.

IDOLS


The patience of man
Had over many ages
Given to his own land
Births of many images.

It has made gods
Of so many symbols;
Earthly made rods,
Also celestial balls.

In his long wait
His patience creates
Answers that relate
Only to his state.

The clouds of reason
Cover his horizons;
Make a sky season,
Or mystic masons.

Sight is so deceptive
That it can tilt a view,
Halo any perspective
With inspired preview.

Man looks around
And sees such beauty,
Beyond any he found
Or his own humanity.

In his natural urge
He pays respects to
Visions and courage,
Where honour isnt due.

In his all human way,
He puts faith in those
He comprehendsll stay;
Idolizing his very nose.

SHOWN OFF



Sorry bro, if you haven’t guessed it yet,
and if you doubt it you’ll lose this bet.
There is an ongoing assault on your senses,
and it mainly targets your viewing lenses.

Ladies make sure you see their goods,
those curvy naughty goody foods.
They test your resolve to be normal,
teasing to resist their mean abnormal.

SINGLED OUT


Found out amidst the threshing stones,
sort out of the cupboard of bones.
Where the situation was doctored
fell out that one not to be mastered.

Revenge consumes like any fire
and depends on sentimental air.
An action sought to set any aside
is vengeful if reason and sense coincide.

When anybody is singled out
the stone-casters dance about,
exposing ignorance and malice;
ironically with the drummers piece.

DÉJÀ VU


They always return like its shown,
Somehow better, on their very own.

When they were nothing, they knew.
And as they were begotten, they threw.

Just like such was predestined,
Man’s priorities shifts ascertained.

It was seen and again it will be,
Like again repeats all tides at sea.

They’ve always forgotten man feeds
Just like water kills and still it breeds.

MEN AT EASE



The other day a lady teased me,
saying I’ve got huge man boobs.
Smiled and tried to make her see,
creation has one reoccurring oops.

Just like everything that is male,
My boobs are for my pleasure;
Not the upliftment of others’ tale,
For God’s a man in all His nature.

CRESCENDO


Earth has been all angry again,
Man did upset hers again;
Like he does again and again.

His efforts in controlling has been
Fixed as to betray his weakness seen;
She’s polite, not rash as harsh in between.

But you wonder how long for,
This sea-saw ride will further go?
Calmly, then hard ends a crescendo.

MONEY AND THE MISER


Spend me! You miserable clot,
So I can travel, visit and just be.
Have I not uplifted all your lot
With my coming and swelling sea?

Ha! See what is talking here;
Another creation grown astray.
Has making you collect near
Lost its purpose as any way?

I have existed so long before,
Making many, long before you.
Hadn’t my might sown more
Fright in you than you’ll rue?

My fear of you doesn’t keep,
That is why you I do amass.
How trivial your might heap
Just like any furniture was?

I taste the air men breathe,
Inhaled in its life and gasped.
Hasn’t the ease I could knit
Warm skeletons all trapped?

I don’t lodge or host guests
And don’t burden any to host.
Haven’t I seen your requests
Send errands until they’re lost?

I plunge in a lake all humble,
Help will come and does drown.
Had not man’s urge so trouble
His lust for his own crown?

Then I’ve unraveled your plot,
So with me you’re ever sunk.
I’ll keep man’s own twin clot.
After all, arent you precious junk?

WHERE ARE YOU?



First time I got those three words,
it was a parent checking on me.
Then it was a sibling’s own words,
demanding my attention and me.

Next on the train came a friend,
likewise demanding attention.
And this goes on without end,
because I’m in for an education.

As a stallion, my girl owned me,
every minute her calls are as true.
Mother didn’t as much call me.
Now my pet name is WHERE ARE YOU?

THE SPOUSE

The spouse is the chosen partner;
either by craft, design or choice.
Becoming indeed a legal partner,
regardless of thought or noise.


No other legal relative is such,
not even the adopted children.
For they never share that much,
not in bodily or geno brethren.

Spouses come to a disadvantage,
one that timelessly edges it on.
Success makes it an advantage,
failure casts it good in rusty iron.

Spouse is a lengthy subscription,
one that needs constant renewal.
Spouse is one true legal relation,
in danger of instant withdrawal.


IMMORTALITY

We live on in our children

Every bit of knowledge is new,

at the instant it came into light.

The boldest fact as we all knew,

is time at hand is truest might.

The captain that has his crew,

has his craft in steady flight.

Time spent well is never few,

when it’s gains speaks right.

JUST THIS ONCE


Truthfully none lives all alone,
But dead as alive all has none.

The words we are saying now, found us somewhere we know.

Our thoughts are always near, holding us captive right here.

NIGHT FOR DAY

Thank all the heavens for night time,

where will all mankind be without it?

Clarity praises all the days’ fine,

as all these many beautiful it lit.

Darkness had made procreation this bold,

aiding the naughtiness in all the shy.

Night makes ugliness the child of old;

daylight sculptures the beautiful sky.

REBIRTH

Everything is chaos
that comes to a head.
Like life is not yours,
if it owns you instead.

The parent of logic
is simply knowledge.
What’s certainly tragic,
is all life is in bondage.

IMMORALITY

Time is a precious commodity,


one we cannot create but waste.

How we use every opportunity,

determines our enduring taste.

The fabric of every community,

makes up it’s content and state.

When a people lose their sanity,

old men rule like boys in haste.

BOYS & TOYS

Boys’ll ever be boys!
Even if they’re older,
they like same toys;
only just get bolder!

Men get a lot older,
playing more bolder.
Craving similar toys,
make men still boys.

THE 411 IS 404

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe


All roads might lead to Rome but all dogs are heading for Katsina as the State Government is to expend N300 million on them to secure schools. Who is supplying the dogs? Certainly none of Ejike Mbaka’s “three contractors” nor Eedris Abdulkarim via Festus Keyamo! Anyway, this laudable proposal might however start off dog rustling because some Nigerians particularly from …, ……., ….. and …… would have already started calculating the cumulative length of “Telephone wire” that would be roasted, fried or pepper souped. If you decode the 3, 7, 5 and 6 dots na you sabi! Now that negotiating with bandits has obviously failed are dogs the best way forward?

While canines are wonderful as temporary early warning mechanism they cannot be a permanent preventive measure. Dogs are not bullet proof. Katsina people should rather implore their kinsman in Abuja to wake up on the job to identify and root out the immediate and remote causes of abductions – nationwide.

After all that is what he was voted into office to do! By the way who will feed and maintain N300 million worth of dogs? I ask because in Katsina “members” are said to be mainly concentrated at the Mammy Market of you know where. Chances are that each time there is salary delay or month far a government owned Bingo or two might end up there! If so it will be just a question of time before man’s best friend starts turning out to be other men’s 404!

LIVING

Living is a trip that keeps going.
Daily it comes, always it’s going.

It is peopled, hectic, never cozy;
Fares as pests all quite naughty,
Only it’s tiny stops are a bit rosy.

Picture from @xinorino

LOVES LOVE

This isn’t the story of our wives;
With each and all we share life,
Parting and bridging as we leave.
Each and all of us is this thief.

We lead with all emotions canal,
Lustily wanting all just temporal.
For we only tell from the external;
Wishing, hoping it is so internal.

Rolled in next is the nature,
The feelings growing to mature.
We regard or discard a culture
To marry dreams, make a future.

The investments yield their sanity,
Our character tests its immunity.
The lucky are in blissful humility,
Off springing, living, fostering humanity.

Measurement elude even more less,
For all other lust is meaningless.
Finally, love rules all the featureless,
Together we die till eternity endless.

January 15, 1966

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The last official public function of Nigeria’s first and only elected Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the commissioning of the River Niger Bridge linking Asaba with Onitsha. After which;
“On December 19, 1965 he (Balewa) went to the small village of Arondizuogu in Orlu for the commissioning of Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe’s “Palace of the People” Built by Italian contractors, it was a three-storey affair resplendent with blue terrazzo walls, swimming pool and a fountain, grand conference halls and event rooms, red carpet and gilt chairs. All these in a village where most houses were still born of mud and thatched roofs. Since the first tarred roads were constructed in 1890s in Lagos, and the first dual carriage way in Nigeria – Queen Elizabeth Road – appeared in 1956 in Ibadan, no road in Arondizuogu or in Orlu had ever been graced with bitumen before.

Yet Mbadiwe situated the grand palace there as a source of pride for his people. At the commissioning ceremony, the Eastern Premier, Dr Okpara never saw the project as a white elephant planted by megalomania and watered by corruption, rather he hailed the project as “a great achievement for pragmatic African socialism.” The press placed the value of the house at least half a million pounds. Mbadiwe said it was “at most £40,000.” After the commissioning, Abubakar then proceeded to his farm in Bauchi for his annual leave.”

The Prime Minister was briefly in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 4, 1966 before returning to Lagos.Despite the fact that Sir Balewa was a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, he was a modest person who had throughout his life led a Spartan and ascetic lifestyle. He owned only 2 private residences in Bauchi and Kaduna and a 50 acre farm near his hometown of Tafawa Balewa.

His personal integrity was unassailable, yet in Lagos as Prime Minister he headed a government that glossed over the proven corrupt practices of its apparatchiks for the sake of political expediency;
“The NCNC parliamentary leader and Minister of Trade, Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe was caught using his office to divert a government land at Ijora Causeway to his private company Afro Properties and Investment Company since 1961. He then assigned the land lease to Nigerpool in return for a hefty annual profit. The discovery generated another media-exposed corruption scandal.

The Prime Minister met privately with Babatunde Jose, the editor of the powerful Daily Times spearheading the intense campaign to remove the corruption extremist if he declined to resign. Mbadiwe never bothered. Sir Balewa told the editor: “You want me to remove this man? What he did fell below what is proper. Under British standards, he would go, but the NCNC who put him in my original coalition are solidly for him. Its central working committee had just passed a unanimous vote of confidence in him. If they withdraw, since Awolowo can’t join, the [coalition] government will collapse.’”No doubt during the First Republic there were numerous signs and symptoms of rapid democratic decay against the background of massive political corruption.

The bloody events of January 15, 1966 did not just happen in some vacuum. By January 15, 1966 our nation was a disaster waiting to happen as there was a noticeable buildup towards chaos as noted by declassified US diplomatic cables which clearly stated how our nation had got to a level of; “Very complicated African politics, in which tribes, religions and economics all play a part, are involved in the situation. The Northern Premier is at odds with the Eastern Premier in whose region large oil deposits have been discovered. In the heat of the election campaign, there have been threats of secession by the East; threats of violence that would make Congo look like child’s play.”The American cables were about the intense political rivalry at the highest echelons of government;
“Following the controversial Federal Election of December 1964, ceremonial President Azikiwe of the NCNC, refused to invite Prime Minister Balewa of the NPC to form a government and issued orders mobilizing the Army to enforce his authority to suspend the government, annul the elections and appoint a temporary interim administrator to conduct elections.

However, the oath of allegiance of the officer corps was not only to the Commander in Chief but also to the government of Nigeria. The Army Act (#26 of 1960) and the Navy Act (#9 of 1960) were also clear on lines of authority and control.While the Army and Navy were “under the general authority” of the Defence Minister in matters of “command, discipline and administration”, the authority for operational use and control was vested in the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. President Azikiwe and the service chiefs were so advised by the Chief Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Thus the Navy Commander, Commodore Wey politely told the President that the Navy (under him), the Army (under Major General Welby-Everard) and the Police (under Louis Edet) had decided to refuse his orders. After a week of cliff hanging tension, in which the military stood aside, a political compromise was eventually reached and a government of “national unity” formed under Prime Minister Balewa.” Was Dr. Azikiwe privy to the January 15, 1966 coup?There was also the political collateral damage of;
“Operation Banker’, a joint Army-Police operation in the Western region, led by then CO, 4th battalion, Lt. Col. Maimalari, allegedly at the behest of the pro-NPC regional Premier (Akintola) culminating in the declaration of a state of emergency in May 1962 after a fracas in the House of Assembly and the appointment of an administrator.

Interestingly, the General Staff Officer at the Army HQ in charge of Intelligence was none other than Captain Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu who, as a Major, was later to play a key role in the coup of January 1966 in which Maimalari lost his life.”This politicization of the military led to; “The arrest on September 22, 1962 and subsequent imprisonment of the opposition leader, Chief Awolowo, on suspicion of planning a civilian overthrow of the government. It was alleged that 300 volunteers were sent to Ghana for 3 weeks militia training.”
Interestingly; “The last interview granted to the magazine ‘West Africa’, by the late Prime Minister Balewa on January 14, a few hours to his death, went like this:
Question: Do you see the solution as taking the form of a coalition government in the West?

Balewa: Yes, it would have to be that …The Action Group has accepted my mediation, but the NNDP has asked for more time. If I use real force in the West – and make no mistake about it, I haven’t yet – then I could bring the people to their knees. But I don’t want to use force like that. Force can’ t bring peace to people’s hearts.
Question: Would you consider the release of Chief Awolowo as part of a political solution of the West’s troubles?

Balewa: I think that might be part of it; yes, obviously we would have to see.
This interview was not published until January 29, 1966.”
Little did Sir Balewa know that the political end game of the January 15, 1966 mutineers was to release then opposition leader, Chief Awolowo from Calabar prison and install him as head of a national unity government. Chief Awolowo has never confessed to being privy of the coup attempt though the official documents containing the details of what actually happened and how 54 years ago are still classified.May the souls of Sir Balewa and that of all those that lost their lives on January 15, 1966 continue to rest in peace.

WOE MAN

Place of the woman is spent;
through timely cratered vent.
She’s raging in her eruptions;
in her hair raising formations.

Still her place further reduces;
within every gain she chooses.
She’s the lesser man as before,
her sex ever breeds a new woe.

#poetry
#poem

Picture from @msniffe

LIKE IT OR NOT

To avoid being quite sorry,
it’s always prudent to worry.
Not just for the tiny bit thing,
but to also laugh, cry or sing.

Good are also ugly and bad;
and can turn fair moods sad.
Most friends’re opportunistic,
indeed their needs are mystic.

CLOUDLY HEIGHTS

Like thoughts form an opinion,

or tears weep to peeled onion,

desire gives dream their sights;

like clouds, time is once upon,

and grows aspirations’ heights.

Picture from @Nxdif

IN THEIR SHOES

Common is the expression;
not quite the true situation.
Rare does the circumstance,
fit the damned consequence.

Whenever the setting changes;
timid viewers face challenges,
same fashion commentators
will become eating predators.

#poem
#poetry

SKELETONS ABOUND

Skeletons still in the cupboard,
are still new, across the board.
Just a step into the near past,
reveals old habits always last.

Tombstones mark old cruelties;
hidden, mean, untold mysteries.
Looks are most deceptive tools, lying to the most gullible fools.

CHANGING TIMES

How the times have changed
and their days have managed
to turn our thrones into pulpits
our peaceful abodes into pits.

Mere words now make violence;
sacred scripture praise offence.
Social media taints knowledge,
as our youth mirror our tutelage.

#poem

TWIN LIGHTS

Without these spoken words,
who can tell our mini worlds?
Without the delight of colours,
what’s this ruse sight conjures?

Without directions to guide us,
or passing time that bothers us,
who is certain where they are;
then, now, before ending here?

Is there any more perfect sight

than any day’s twinned twilight?

Then we are all identical twins;

worldwide, same human-beings.

@YasNiger

PRISM

Times have aged into a routine;
one weaned, not born by cooks.
Money now owns worship’s sin,
as many heros become crooks.

Todays’ are yesterdays’ whores,
all their victories liken abortions.
All gains reach emptied shores;
laurels are prismatic emotions.

TIMELY STROLL

Time never stops in its track;
It will grow, age, dry or fly off,
But never ceases, end or lack.

Each time rolls in its moments;
Strolling by in its miserly bluff,
Daring all to enjoy its torments.

Picture from @kc_clancy

FUTURE SOLDIERS ON

We walk in steps, fits and starts,
Come and go like beatin’ hearts,
Pacing back, forth, yet onwards;
Winning battles, losing all wars.

Life drills all as an erring soldier,
Demands as needs never older,
For the future soldiers on bolder.

TRUST

Trust is an egg, floating in the air,
Happy in delightful honest fair.
Safest feeling is only in the hand,
When it’s down to earth and land.

Picture from @MrsZanga

SET DESTINY





Life’s a long drawn out mystery,
one that we never ever fathom.
Our wishes become our misery; like dreams we don’t overcome.

We daily edge closer to nothing;
blindly holding onto naked cupid.
Our destiny is a very old setting,
until when bold becomes stupid.


Picture from @TheOnlyKemi

SOLDIER’S WISH

Waiting patiently for the nights
when we sit, raise our glasses,
toast trigger fingers’ heights,
gun powder and saves asses;
over our chilled whiskey shots,
brag about our notable shots.
We won’t lock horns with evil;
for not forever reigns the devil.

We might clatter like pawns
across their Chess boards,
as their domination quests runs.
But at some point it surely burns
and we won’t fall or die off.
For angels far away from here,
wait to shine feathers enough,
to spread wings with all of us;
Once this is over for ours & us.

Picture from @hify_2

CAN’T WAIT

Can’t wait to be felt and noticed. Can’t wait to be seen and heard;
To be right here acknowledged.

When not if, a certain constant,
As I stand out in this moment.
For what is now is my current.

Picture from @oj_deji

LOVE IS A GAME

Cubid is a terrible shot
And misses quite alot.
Maybe it’s those tiny wings
Or self righteous halo rings.

His cute aims for the heart
Always loses from the start
Because love is a mindset,
A selfish reaction to what’s felt.

Eyes make their own shows
Before the pierced head goes.
Their fruit crowned the whores,
Love is forever a game for bros.

HOME🇳🇬NATION

Can we ever leave our homes,
Completely be someone else?
Can we change flesh as homes
From within, be of a new place?

True we leave our home nations
Physically, in identity or thought
But the nation stay in emotions
In sympathies, niceties and rot.

#One9jaAtHeart

THERE ARE COWS & THERE ARE COWS

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

These are Wagyu cattle from which the most expensive beef in world comes from in Japan.

They are arguably the most pampered of domesticated animals, because their daily routine consists of regular massages, beer drinking, baths and listening to relaxing music.

It is believed by herdsmen over there, such delicate care helps to keep the highly priced beef known as “Kobe” so tender.

Meanwhile, other cattle, in you know where, are raised against the backdrop of Rat-ta-ta music of AK 47 gunfire.

With more civilized herdsmen, Denmark is not left out as
a group of students of the Scandinavian School of Cello dropped by to perform Tchaikovsky’s “Pezzo Capriccioso” to the delight of a herd of classical music loving cows.

Do not ask me if the following day milk production reached all time high. It did!

Meanwhile, over here the Rat-ta-ta…..Kwantinues.

Simply put –

Garbage in, Garbage out!

40 YEARS AGO!

Copied

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ. ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ ᴍᴀɴʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ᴀғʀᴀɪᴅ ᴏғ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.

……………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.

………………………………….

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴇᴀsʏ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ɪᴛ ɪs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ᴛᴏ ɢᴇᴛ ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ɪs sᴏ ᴇᴀsʏ.

…………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴡᴇ ɢᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ sᴛʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs ᴛᴏ ᴏᴜʀ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs.

…………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴠɪʟʟᴀɢᴇʀs ᴡᴇʀᴇ ғʟᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄɪᴛʏ ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴊᴏʙs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴏᴡɴ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ғʟᴇᴇɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ CITY ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴘᴇᴀᴄᴇ.

………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ғᴀᴛ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴅɪᴇᴛs ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏ.

………………………………….

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ʀɪᴄʜ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ ᴀʀᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ʀɪᴄʜ.

…………………………………..

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ᴡᴏʀᴋᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡʜᴏʟᴇ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴏɴᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ.

……………………………………

40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ

ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴜᴅʏ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ʙᴏᴏᴋs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ғᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴡʜᴀᴛsᴀᴘᴘ ᴍᴇssᴀɢᴇs.

40 YEARS AGO WAS 1980,

WHICH SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY!

Hard ғᴀᴄᴛs of ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ’s ʟɪғᴇ.

GENERATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Don’t hate, observe and understudy instead

Devoid of sentiments, without sanctimonious grandstanding and negative profiling apart, tell me how the Indomie generation of Thank you Daddy can withstand this kid in future?

If truth be told, any kid that can command this kind of thunderous herd is way ahead in strategic thinking and tactical response of his peers. Shoes? He doesn’t need any. His stick is his keyboard and mouse for now.

Let us face it, dominating any environment is a mindset that must be cultivated early. This kid is not chauffeured to school. He is not on Social Media neither does he flip through DSTV channels. By the time he goes to school he doesn’t have to drop his CV anywhere.

Many Nigerians have so much modernized that we have abandoned the ethnic rites of passage for our young. The Fulani naturalis have not. They don’t abandon culture.

This kid doesn’t speak English but can effectively communicate with his herd. He can read their mind and decode their mood. He is already taking charge. His mates are still crying Mummy.

This kid might not be able to read and write but he is a natural GPS that can navigate without map reading. He can sniff rain days ahead and sense danger miles away. He doesn’t have to Google pasture. He is an ecological encyclopedia.

This kid’s swagger is earned.
Insult, deride and abuse his older ones. But you can never deny the potential, natural aptitude and work in progress in this kid.
How many conventional schools can package the unfinished greatness that is already apparent in him?

The Fulani. The Shuwa of the Lake Chad region. The Dinka of Sudan. The Masai of Kenya and Tanzania. The Tutsis of Rwanda and Burundi. Even the Bedouins of the Arab world and Cowboys of America. Including the Hebrews of old. Keenly observe and carefully understudy them. They have always dominated their environment because of their understanding of the umbilical link between animal husbandry and human psychology – He who knows you most masters you more – by any means necessary.

“Hate is the reaction that we feel towards something that is threatening us. Fear is what happens when we can’t do anything about it.”

Life is historically a game of chess. We are mere players and the environment is our ultimate chessboard; “where a man must have a temper of iron”

It is either you stay ahead of the game or keep on complaining.

Sacking of Benin City: 124th Anniversary

By Dan Hicks 18th February was the 124-year anniversary of the sacking of Benin City by a British naval force.Walk into any European museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire.They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin.They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes – a collection of thousands of brass plaques and carved ivory tusks depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria.Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.The story of the Benin Bronzes sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums.In The Brutish Museums, Dan Hicks makes a powerful case for the urgent return of such objects, as part of a wider project of addressing the outstanding debt of colonialism.

The Spy who “Loved” Nigeria

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Sir Hanns Vischer

As they say; “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” Sir Hanns Vischer, was an agent of His Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service in Nigeria. He was referred to as “Dan Hausa” due to his mastery of the Hausa language which he helped in standardizing. He was also prolific in Arabic, Fulfulde and Kanuri in addition to Greek, French and German. Based in Kano from 1907 to 1919, his cover was head of the Education Department.

Gidan Dan Hausa, now a national monument was his official residence. The building had being in existence for about a hundred years before Kano was conquered by the British in 1903. It had previously served as the base of the overseer of the royal farming plantation outside the ancient city walls known as Rumada. Vischer rebuilt it from scratch making improvements in 1907.

The spymaster first came to Nigeria in 1901 and was based in Lokoja before he was reassigned to Maiduguri in 1903. By 1906, he crossed the Sahara Desert. He recounted his journey in a 1911 book entitled; “Across the Sahara from Tripoli to Borno” Another book he wrote is; “Rules for Hausa Spelling” printed in 1912.
Kano was crucial to the British in two aspects. First, in creating an elite that would oppose national independence. Second, it was a crucial cross roads in monitoring Francophone territories and the German colony of Kamerun.

According the historian, Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman;
“The Hausa-speaking people, not only do they have dialects, which were barely mutually intelligible, but they have no tradition of a common origin.” Hausa as spoken and written today was therefore a British project. Vischer was one of the arrow heads.

Vischer’s residence also served as a school for sons of emirs from all over the North. With his wife who joined him in 1912, the couple moulded the young aristocrats teaching them how to read and write in English and Ajami (Arabic in Roman script) The school started with 30 pupils in 1909. Their hostel was within the Nasarawa palace of Kano emirate nearby.

Enrollment increased to over 200 princes by 1913 from the 11 provinces of the Northern Protectorate. It produced the first Western educated elites in the North that eventually became the first members of the House of Chiefs and Assembly both in Kaduna. Vischer’s school relocated becoming Katsina College in 1921, which is now Barewa College in Zaria.

The Vischers had two children at Gidan Dan Hausa. Their photographs including that of their house maid still adorn the main living room of the historic house to date.

The British did not come to the colonial contours of what became Nigeria for sightseeing – they came to plunder.
To pull that off they needed to apply “divide et impera” – divide and rule. They ensured no level of national consciousness could develop eventually preparing us for national independence without economic freedom.

The likes of Sir Vischer were instrumental to Pax Britannica. Such people are described as “capax imperii” – capable of ruling an empire by understanding and study of languages;
“One had only to watch him in his daily avocations in those early days to realize how completely at home he was with every class of society—whether he was engaged in grave deliberations with emirs, viziers and other high personages of the ruling hierarchy, or whether he was chaffing the hucksters at the market stalls as he rode through Kano city. No less revealing was it to see him in his own home pick up a native drum and, squatting on the floor, croon local Hausa songs to his own accompaniment. So inimitably did he do it that, if he had been hidden behind a screen, one would have said that an African musician had been engaged to entertain his guests”

At Gidan Dan Hausa, Vischer reorganized traditional Hausa building materials of “Tubali” and “Azara” by creatively using “Chafe” for plaster and “Makuba” for relieve motifs retaining “Zankwaye” (the horns at the top) and “Dakali” (the horizontal platform at the base)
Vischer used local labor sourced within the ancient city of Kano from “Unguwan Gini”

The original inhabitants of Kano are the “Abagawa” of the Nok Civilization. The “Wangara” from present-day Mali conquered and incorporated Kano into the Songhai Empire. Eventually the Habe held sway before the Hausanization process that followed the formation of the Sokoto Caliphate.

It has been the southern entrepôt of the Trans Saharan trade for millennia. Arabs and Tuaregs have been part of Kano’s mosaic for centuries.

It provided the perfect cover for Sir Hanns Vischer, a spymaster par excellence according to Nigel West in; Historical Dictionary of World War I Intelligence (2014)

Amina Allgrownupandborin Mohammed

http://yasniger.com/2015/01/22/amina-allgrownupandborin-mohammed/

Six years on & the hurt still feels fresh…. Rest in peace my dearest friend.


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Dear Almighty God,
Take into your most gracious embrace my dear friend and sister. Keep her in your divine presence and rest her gentle soul in your most perfect peace, for all eternity.

I miss her already, beyond words. My tears have dried out, my throat is raw.

The rest of my world will not be the same again without our years long endless chats. Sitting across from each other we talked and argued, debated and planned. Hundreds of miles apart, you were ever helpful and ever there to lend a hand, give some advice and edit. Just as we still talked on, mindless of the incredible phone billings, be assured that we talk on still. In my thoughts and in my mind, we talk on.

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This act of cruelty is meaningless, beyond comprehension and reasoning.
Who will want to spoil such beauty and decency, or remove from amongst us?
WHO and WHY?!
Righteous God in our comforter.

Who will understand my peculiarities like she did? Who will be my unconditional friend like she was? A part of me died with you, Ameena.

You were my most special friend, you always brought the best out of me.
I became a better person by just being your friend, a privilege you allowed me.

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Ameena, you died terribly, yet you live on beautifully in our thoughts.

REST IN PIECE

https://www.facebook.com/amina.a.mohammed.7?fref=ts

Hiding in plain sight

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

There is nothing any smartphone phone user can do about what goes on in this disc shaped building located at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) It is the corporate headquarters of DarkMatter. UAE is an Arab Gulf country with a population of 9.2 million made of 7 emirates including Dubai – a favorite destination for loaded Nigerians. However, only 1.4 are Emiratis. The 7.8 majority are foreigners.
DarkMatter is a cyber security firm and proxy for NSO Group Technologies (NSO stands for Niv, Shalev and Omri) the names of the company’s founders to market the world’s most advanced phone surveillance technology known simply as Pegasus which is classified as a weapon by Israel and any export of the technology must be approved by the government. UAE is therefore an offshore trading post.

Due to its existential realities hightech security is not only a national necessity but a major business for Israel being the only Middle East country with neither crude oil nor Natural gas. Niv, Shalev and Omri are retired military intelligence officers that served under Unit 8200 of Signal Intelligence of the Israeli Defence Force;
“Unit 8200 is composed primarily of 18–21 year olds. As a result of the youth of the soldiers in the unit, and the shortness of their service period, the unit relies on selecting recruits with the ability for rapid adaptation and speedy learning. After school programs for 16–18 year olds, teaching computer coding and hacking skills, also serve as a feeder programs for the unit.” Many phone Apps and Antivirus software in use around the world are created by companies set up by former officers of Unit 8200. The Israelis are reportedly the first nation to hack into any android phone any where in the world by remote access and use it as a listening device even if is not on!

What is happening to WhatsApp?

In October 2019, WhatsApp and its parent sued NSO Group Technologies under the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for using the Pegasus spyware to violate the privacy of of over 1 billion WhatsApp users worldwide. Have you recently been asked to update your “privacy agreement” with WhatsApp recently? It is a fallout of that case.
Many WhatsApp users have started migrating to other platforms like Telegram and Signal that guarantee better “end to end encryption” for users. But truth is there has never been privacy in telecommunications. The internet was invented by the US Department of Defense; “If you have something that you don’t want anybody to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”
WhatsApp was established in 2009 by two digital nomads previously working with Yahoo with a seed capital of $250,000, by 2014 Facebook acquired it for $19 billion. Meanwhile we all use it for free; so where do the profits come from? As they say; “The most expensive things are free”

One World Government is now inevitable

What do the Israelis and Arabs have in common? The oil shiekhs abhor democracy but want to retain power and control over their masses without causing another Arab Spring. The Israelis have the technological means to aid the aristocrats while maintaining their democratic survival and national security in the world’s most hostile region. This arrangement is sweet music to the proponents of Globalization in maintaining world order.
According to an Al Jazeera report dated December 8, 2020;
“Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency has acquired equipment that it can use to spy on its citizens’ calls and text messages, according to a report by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which researches digital surveillance, security, privacy and accountability. The report, titled Running in Circles: Uncovering the Clients of Cyber-espionage Firm Circles, said a telecom surveillance company by the name of Circles has been helping state security apparatuses across 25 countries, including Nigeria, to spy on the communications of opposition figures, journalists, and protesters…..The Citizen Lab report also said Circles was affiliated with Tel Aviv-based NSO Group, an Israeli hacker-for-hire company, whose software, Pegasus, has allegedly been used by several governments to spy on dissidents by taking control of their smartphone, its cameras and microphones, and mining the user’s personal data.”

Big Brother is watching you

Femi Adesina recently released a statement entitled; “Criticise us fairly, President Buhari appeals to Nigerian elite.” What the presidential aide has simply done is to stratify Nigeria in line with privileged information hidden in plain sight.
“Big Brother” is the fictional leader of a country called Oceania in George Orwell’s novel “1984” that was published in 1949; “Oceania’s society as divided into three distinct classes: the Inner Party, the Outer Party and the Proles.
The Proles made up almost 85% of the population in Oceania; they receive little education, work at manual labor, live in poverty although in privacy and anonymity………Party members (the Inner Party and Outer Party) are under surveillance via telescreens in both private and public; by contrast, Proles’ quarters are generally free of telescreens as the Big Brother does not care to observe them. Their functions are simple: work and breed. Proles are described as “caring little about anything but home and family, neighbor quarrels, films, football, beer, lottery tickets, and other such bread and circuses.”
In case you missed the optics, Mr. Adesina has issued a serious warning to the members of the Inner and Outer Party in Nigeria by implying the Proles are still loyal. Information is power!

Stages of Death

“Their trip back progressed quietly mostly and was rather quite uneventful until they came upon the scene of an accident that blocked the entire road, so they had to stop.

“Kengua had strolled over to the crash spot to have a closer look. He wished he hadn’t. There was a victim lying on the unpaved roadside being attended to by a number of over-enthusiastic people. These untrained first responders just kept fumbling with the man as he laid flat on his back on the dusty ground, face up and breathing unevenly heavy.

“He was foaming profusely in the mouth, with the dark part of his eyes sneaking upwards, into his upper eyelids, as if he was trying to see something overhead without trying to arc his neck backwards to look up.

“Soon his hands left his sides and started lifting upwards slightly, then falling back into place swiftly, with only his elbows bending at each time. Within the second minute, the victims legs joined in, his shoeless bare feet stabbed away from his body in a continuous stretching motion.

“Kengua was transfixed, too scared to keep looking but yet he kept his eyes on the obviously dying man, as if watching the poor chap death was an act of charity.

“Later on Kengua remembered thinking that maybe if the mans legs had found something vertically stationary to rest on, the agonized departing spirit of the dying man just might not leave when it did. Maybe it is because he didn’t strike at anything with his leg activity that his departure from the realm of the living was completed. Maybe people wouldnt die at such moments if they stood up defiantly.

“Though Kengua wasn’t alone there, he sort of felt he was the only spectator who could actually claim to have seen the man die, but he doubts if he really did see him die. He only saw a pained man briefly struggling to live on endlessly and then the same man, against all his desire to live on, became quite still and motionless. He didn’t see life leave the man. If that was ever humanly possible, the privilege wasn’t granted him that warm humid afternoon.

“So Kengua strangely romanticized that gross occurrence by curtly summarizing that the brevity of death is like an orgasm. That is if what he saw is indeed the moment of dying, which is arguably death.

“They recommenced their rudely paused journey an hour later. Kengua made a comparative analysis in his mind on what he had just witnessed and what he read some living sage wrote to win the world over into believing and accepting his listed five stages of death. Kengua was now certain that the writer has not seen these stages exhibited.

“The five stages were made easy to remember by sequencing them to DEATH as an acronym, as;

Denial, Enraged, Appropriating, Tension and Healing.

Or more aptly:

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Kengua saw none of those that afternoon as he watched the man kick the air to his death. The least of all to be exhibited is Acceptance.

“Death simply damned the mans Desires, nullified his Energy, shrugged off his Activity, Terminated his life and Held him eternally Hostage. Kengua concluded that for want of a more suitable break down of the DEATH acronym;

Desired Energized Activity Terminated and Held Hostage

….would be a whole lot more befitting.”

Siobhan Chamberlain: PROVING PEOPLE WRONG

*Copied from Manchester United Website

13 December 2020 15:30

There are moments in your life when people say things to you that spur you on.

They are saying things that they believe, and that they think will help you, but their words also stoke this desire in you where you want to prove them wrong.

I still remember the time my Mum picked me up from school and I told her about my best friend, Deena, being picked for England Under-18s. Deena was a ridiculously good footballer. She was one of those naturally talented types, and mum just said: “Yeah, she’s good at sports, but you’re good at academic studies. That’s just how it is.” At the time that is how it was. I was good at school and she was good at football. But at the same time, it set something off in me.

I wasn’t like Deena. I was never one of those kids with natural talent and gifts; the ones you can spot a mile off. I liked taking part in lots of different sports – I loved gymnastics and trampolining from the age of three or four – but I wasn’t outstanding in one field. When you don’t have those gifts, your mentality becomes key because you need that hard work, that determination to prove people wrong. I didn’t even really have any interest in football until I was 10. My Dad and brothers kept going off to play, so I was jealous, I wanted to show I could play with them, so I joined in.

I loved it and played in all different outfield positions. I was in the girls’ football team at secondary school when my PE teacher, who also happened to be the England Women’s Rugby captain, took our team and entered us into a full-size, full-contact rugby tournament. None of us had ever played the sport before; we didn’t know what we were doing. She taught us the rules on the bus on the way there. We won the tournament without conceding any points. We were all quite athletic and coordinated, but I’m still not sure how we did it.

Siobhan Chamberlain says
“Her giving me that ultimatum really reinforced the desire to play football at the highest possible level.”Siobhan Chamberlain
After that rugby tournament, I remember my teacher asking me: “Would you rather play international level rugby or mediocre level football?” I remember thinking: international level football. There wasn’t the option of having a career in football at that time, but her giving me that ultimatum really reinforced the desire to play football at the highest possible level.

It was around that time that I volunteered to go in goal in my first ever hockey game (just because you got to wear all the cool padding), and that was that. Next time I played football, we were short of a goalkeeper and I volunteered. The rest is history. As a gymnast you’ve got to have an awareness of how your body moves through the air, you’ve got to have good flexibility and range of movement, all of which help you as a goalkeeper.

I was in year 12, first year of sixth form, when Fulham launched a professional women’s team. The Women’s League was a fully amateur league apart from Fulham. Deena signed professionally with them. I was already playing with Fulham and I don’t know if I would have been offered a contract, but I decided I wanted to finish my A-levels either way because that was important for me. I firmly believe that you should do your education regardless, even these days.

When I was 18 I was offered a scholarship at Stanford University over in America, but at the same time I’d just got into the England Under-18s setup and they wanted you to be visible and playing in England. I signed with Chelsea instead, and a centre opened at Loughborough University where you could combine full-time football training with your studies. That was perfect for me because I was able to do my degree in Sport and Exercise Science, do my Masters in Sports and Exercise Nutrition and I was able to do my football training there. I was at Loughborough for seven years in total. Everyone joked that I’d get married on the football pitches there, with the rubber crumb being thrown as confetti! Thankfully that wasn’t the case in the end.

During my studies, I changed clubs more than once. I left Chelsea for Fulham, moved on to Bristol Academy and ended up back at Chelsea, by which point I’d made my full England debut. That didn’t go as smoothly as I’d have liked – I ruptured the capsule around the top of my foot and had to come off at half-time – and then I wasn’t involved in the 2005 European Championships, which were held in England, but I went to our opening game against Sweden at the Etihad Stadium. We won 3-2 in injury-time and that was another moment when I just thought: Yeah, this is what I want.

After that tournament, I was in every single senior squad from the end of 2005 through to the end of 2017. I was second or third choice at times, and that was 15 years of your life committed to being away once a month and being part of a team without ever really playing. In 2007, after finally leaving Loughborough, I was picked for the second World Cup England had ever qualified for. It was huge. The finals were in China, and I never expected to play at that point. The first-choice goalkeeper, Rachel Brown, had been around forever. I was just there for the journey and to enjoy being at the World Cup.

The commitment you had to make as a female player, at that point when the game wasn’t fully professional, was huge. You’re working full-time, committing to training full-time, and you need a job that’ll let you take a week off once a month and have the flexibility to work around evening kick-offs, changed training schedules and so on. It’s very, very difficult.

I started teaching Sports Science in 2011 while I was in my second spell at Bristol and did a post-graduate course in that while also training, so it was a bit of a tight schedule. Some days I’d finish working at 4.30pm, do a goalkeeper training session for two hours and then immediately join in with a two-hour outfield session. I’d need a massive bag of Haribo between them to get me through. Teaching wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it fitted in and paid the bills.

On the pitch, things went really well. Bristol got to the FA Cup final, got to the Champions League and lost to a Russian team later caught up in the Russian doping scandal. On that note, I actually played for England against Russia a couple of days after the documentary Icarus came out, and I watched that on the day of the game. It left me asking a lot of questions in my head while I was lining up beforehand. That was a strange experience. We won 6-0 anyway, so if there were any drugs involved, they didn’t work!

Siobhan Chamberlain says
“United was, by a million miles, the best organised, best run and most integrated club I’ve played for.”Siobhan Chamberlain
I played every minute of every Bristol game for the first three years of the WSL, was named in the PFA team of the year and came third in the voting for the POTY. Then I left for a new challenge at Arsenal, where I became professional for the first time. The problem was, I barely played, so it wasn’t a great time for me. I played every game of the FA Cup run until I was replaced for the final. We won it for the first time in my career, having lost the final twice with Bristol – both to Arsenal – but I value those loser’s medals more than the winner’s medal because I felt we’d really achieved something by getting to the final with Bristol.

The following year was the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Again, I was on the bench. I went to the World Cup in 2007, Euros in 2009, World Cup in 2011, Euros in 2013 and I didn’t set foot on the pitch in any of them.

Then it happened. Finally.

We were playing Canada in the quarter-final. It was at BC Place in Vancouver. I’d played in Canada for a while a few years earlier, when the women’s league in England had been rescheduled and I went out there to get some playing time during the lull in fixtures. While I was there, I’d played in Vancouver with quite a few of the Canadian team, and now I was back. Karen Bardsley, our first-choice goalkeeper, came in at half-time with a puffy eye. She’d gotten some of the 3G crumb in her eye and it had reacted badly. She went back out for the second half but it quickly became clear she couldn’t see and, after 51 minutes, she had to come off.

There was no way I was going to rush. I sorted my hair out, put my shinpads on, my pre-wraps, my gloves, and by this time the Canadian fans were fuming. It was sold out. They were booing and I was enjoying that. The moment was in my hands. I wanted to be ready, perfectly set. I was getting booed by 55,000 fans for time-wasting, but as a goalkeeper you don’t have to rush. That’s the one position where they can’t start without you, so everyone’s there trying to rush my gloves on, but I was just like: “Don’t stress. It’s fine.”

Siobhan Chamberlain says
“I’m someone that constantly needs a challenge, and that’s certainly what I’ve got right now… being a professional footballer was the easy part!”Siobhan Chamberlain
I was the calmest person in the world as I walked on the pitch with the biggest smile on my face. Everyone at home said to me afterwards: “Were you not nervous? You looked like you were having the best day of your life!” I’d done all the preparation I needed. If I didn’t go out there, enjoy it and trust what I’d done previously, there was no point. It was 2-1 when I went on and it finished 2-1, so we qualified for our first ever semi-final of a World Cup. That was a huge moment in my career – the kind of moment that nobody had ever thought was possible when I was a kid – and it was a sweet experience. In that tournament every outfield member of the squad had already played some part, so it was nice to feel properly involved.

Also, throughout that tournament, every time I’d done media interviews it had been about my wedding, because I’d gone off to play football and left my now-husband Leigh at home to plan the wedding, so I was waiting for any chance to talk about football. Finally I could talk about something other than the wedding!

Two years later, at the European Championships, I was no.2 to Karen again. Playing France in the quarter-final, she went down injured with a broken leg, so I came on at the same stage of the tournament for the same player. It was 1-0 when I came on, it finished 1-0, we qualified for the semi-finals of the Euros and for that to happen two tournaments in succession, Karen must have wondered what I’d done to her!

By that time I’d signed for Liverpool, but when the opportunity came in 2018 to join United, it also gave me the chance to play for Casey Stoney, who had been my England room-mate for a decade. It was perfect timing for me because I needed that move. It couldn’t have gone better. United was, by a million miles, the best organised, best run and most integrated club I’ve played for. You feel like you’re part of the club, which is huge. It feels fully like one club.

It was an interesting season because as a person and footballer, I fell back in love with football at United. After my time at Arsenal and Liverpool, football was just football. I loved the international side of it but had lost my love for the club game. I was just doing my job, but being at United, being part of something new with a great bunch of players and staff, with Casey, I fell back in love with football.

I was by far the senior figure in the squad. I mean, by far. There were a lot of kids in that team, so it was quite nice to have that role of trying to lead and guide and help them. It was a hard season as a goalkeeper barely touching the ball because we were winning so heavily, but to be part of the first ever Manchester United Women’s team to win a trophy is something that nobody can ever take away from us. Personally, being the first ever professional no.1 in the club’s history has great historic value. It’s big. It’s not a record that can be beaten. It’s just a fact and I’m so proud of it.

Then, at the end of that first season, things changed. For most women who have kids, life changes drastically when they give birth. For me, it changed drastically when I announced that I was pregnant because my whole career changed in an instant. My football had always dictated where we moved, my husband had always based his company wherever he’s needed to. Suddenly I was no longer the priority. It wasn’t just about what I wanted. It became all about Emilia, who was born in January 2020.

I left United a few months later and announced my retirement not long afterwards, and it was by far the hardest decision I’d ever taken in my life. United are, like I say, brilliantly run and every single player will tell you that Casey is fantastic. She’s honest, she’s ruthless when she needs to be, but she’s a good manager of people, so the club is in very safe hands. For me, life has changed dramatically. I absolutely love being a mum. I also enjoy watching the team now, quite often as a co-commentator with MUTV, and it’s great to see them doing so well at the top of the league. Personally, for me, as well as media work with MUTV, I’m currently studying for a Masters in Sports Directorship. I’ve learnt and experienced so much within the game that I’d love to be able to give back and help the game grow in the right direction. I’m someone that constantly needs a challenge, and that’s certainly what I’ve got right now… being a professional footballer was the easy part!

That’s just me, it’s how I’ve always been – especially if someone tells me I can’t do something!