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A Two-Sided Tale Of Life

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Book Review

Title:    Conquest &                                         Conviviality

Author:  Tolu Ogunlesi

Reviewer: Oyindamola                                       Olofinlua.

Literature, no matter how abstract it might be, always has a root in real life; no wonder literature is said to be a slice life. Turning and turning in the widening gyre of life, there are bound to be ups and downs and how these ups and downs are managed would determine how successful or otherwise the individual’s life would turn out to be.

With a touch of imagination and creativity, literary artists metamorphose what happens around them-the ups and the down-into plausible literary texts. Tolu Ogunlesi’s Conquest and Conviviality has been able to capture some of the goings-on of life.

Just as every song has an audience, so does every book. Writers may or may not strictly have a target audience, though. But from the evidence available, it seems that the audience in Ogunlesi’s mind is young people, teenagers in particular. The drawing on the front page is a strong pointer to this. However, it is not always good to judge a book by its cover because the cover could barely be a façade.

Conquest and Conviviality is not only for young people but also for adults and should come in handy for all and sundry. It not only tells a story without leaving the reader with something to brood over.

One of the lessons the reader stands to learn is that no one is an “everlasting-never-do-well” because change is the only constant thing in life. Even change changes. Therefore, parents should never lose hope over any child. Parents should always remember that life is full of surprises and that the rejected stone can become the head cornerstone. The former cornerstone can become rejected and disappointing.

The situation Conquest finds himself could safely be compared to that which the king of pop, Micheal Jackson did. Among those that contribute to the making of the degenerate Conquest are his unknown real parents, his surrogate mother, his “sister”, Uncle Barnard and the anonymous sender of the birthday card. However, unlike Michael, Conquest lives above it. This, nonetheless, doesn’t relegate the negative effects abuse could have on people.

Ogunlesi also achieves a milestone with regards to diction and the employment of illustrations. The beauty of literature should not be in the use of complex words that would get nascent readers confused, but in the use of words and expressions that are easily understandable, particularly when the target audience is yet to acquire a large repertoire of words.

In time past, many people have said that the size of books discourages them from reading. For those who belong to this group, comfort has come in the form of this book by Tolu Ogunlesi. Conquest and Conviviality has only 85 pages which can be finished within a couple of minutes. The author achieves this through the use of simple words and expressions.

A novelist is he who is able to take-in, digest and creatively regurgitate almost everything he observes around, even to the minutes detail without getting the reader bored. Through Conquest and Conviviality, Ogunlesi has been able to prove himself as a writer who never gets his readers bored, not even for a second. The narration, although simple, appears to be overtly sincere. The narrator makes no bones about what he thinks, thus, he could be very undiplomatic. An instance is when Conquest asks Convive: “Hey, Convive, um, how many dads do you think we’d have had by the time we die?” This question consequently makes his “twin” shed tears.

An authentic literary piece is always a relevant reference point to the society and a time in history. It may even be timeless. Even though simple, Tolu Ogunlesi’s Conquest and Conviviality is a “must-read’ and read-again.”

 

Olofinlua is a student of Obafemi Awolowo University.

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‘Why Adventurous Children Have Better Mental Health’

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A new research has observed that children who spend more time playing adventurously have lower symptoms of anxiety and depression and were happier over the first COVID-19 lockdown.
The study led by researchers in the University of Exeter and published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development in 2022 , comes at a time when today’s children have fewer opportunities for adventurous play out of sight of adults, such as climbing trees, riding bikes, jumping from high surfaces or playing somewhere they are out of adult sight. The study sought to test theories that adventurous play offers learning opportunities that help build resilience in children, thereby helping to prevent mental health problems.
The research team which was made up of Helen  Dodd, Rachel Nesbit and Lily FitzGibbon  surveyed nearly 2,500 parents of children aged 5-11 years. Parents completed questions  about their child’s play, their general mental health (pre COVID) and their mood during the first COVID -19.
The result was that, children who spend more time playing outside had fewer ‘’internalising problems ‘’, characterised as anxiety and depression. Those children were also more positive during the first lockdown.
The study also found out that the effect was more pronounced in children from lower income families than those growing up in higher income households.
Professor of Child Psychology at the University of Exeter, Helen Dodd, who led the study noted that, ‘’we are more concerned than ever about children’s mental health by ensuring they have plentiful opportunities for adventurous play. This is really positive because play is free, instinctive and rewarding for children, available for everyone and doesn’t require special skills. We now urgently need to invest in and protect natural space, well – designed parks and adventurous play grounds to support the mental health of our children,’’ she explained.
Also, Director of United Kingdom Impact At Save The Children, Dan Paskins, stated that “every child needs and deserves opportunities to play. This important research shows that this is even more vital to help children thrive after all they missed out on during the COVID -19 restrictions. More play means more happiness and less anxiety and depression.’’
Welcoming the findings, Chief Executive of Play Board  NI, Jacqueline O’Loughin, said,’’this research emphasises the importance of adventurous play.
Children and young people need freedom and opportunities to encounter challenge and risk in their everyday playful adventures. It is clear from the research findings that playing,taking risks and experiencing excitement outdoors make a positive contribution to children ‘s mental health and emotional well being. The reward of allowing children to self – regulate and manage challenge in their play are widespread and far- reaching.
Adventurous play helps children to build the resilience needed to cope with and manage stress in challenging circumstances,’’ she added.
Also, in a statement by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), on how  play strengthens children’s mental  health, the body noted that, ‘’playful moments are essential in our little one’s emotional well being. Play is how young children learn and make sense of the  world around them. While they are having fun, they are working on critical parts of their development like building motor,cognitive,social and emotional skills. The power of play extends beyond early learning,it also plays a key role in building children’s mental health and parents too. Children who play regularly with their parents are less likely to develop anxiety, depression, aggression  and sleep problems,’’it stated.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo with Agency Report

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‘If I Become Leader Of Nigeria …’ 

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As a future leader of Nigeria,there are many things I can do to develop my country . There is a saying which says,”Before you can solve a problem,you have to first identify the problem “. So, there are numerous things I can do for the country to close the lengthened gaps in other to bring in advancement and development like in other countries.
The things I can do by God’s grace, will include ensuring that the lives and property of citizens are well secured and safe,therefore making sure that military,paramilitary personnel are well trained and for the job.
I will also make sure that our educational system is properly modernised and I will ensure that education is not expensive for the masses,making at least 95 percent of the people in the country to be educated.
Also, I would bring about economic stability and never give room for economic recession but improve the value of our currency (Naira). Monopoly of the economy will be removed by having both agriculture and crude oil in view.
I will also make sure that we have a stable and convenient political environment, ensuring that democracy is well practised in the nation, thereby eroding corruption and corruptionists during elections.
Another area, I will work on is transportation,to be safe for citizens,especially those that are trading (buying and selling ).
Other predominant things I will do is to ensure peaceful co- existence among people.  Everyone should be treated equally, whether rich or poor, there should be no room for injustice. Employment for youths and young adults should be key so that they can have a means of survival in society.  And also peace among ethnic groups and organi-sations.
All these and more are what I will do  if I become a leader of Nigeria.

By: Wisdom God’swork

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World Children’s Day: Creating A Better World For Children 

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Sunday, 20th November, 2022 is World Children’s  Day. First established as Universal Children’s Day in 1954, it is a day to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare.
This year’s theme is, “Inclusion, for every child”. It aims to empower children to call for a better future and a more equal, inclusive world.
World Children’s Day is United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund’s (UNICEF) annual day of action for children by children.
It is a day to discuss and evaluate issues affecting children, from climate change, education and mental health, to ending racism and discrimination. Children and young people are however, raising their voices on the issues that matter to their generation and calling for adults to create a better future.
According to UNICEF, “World Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that would build a better world for children, adding that, mothers, fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate mogule and media professionals as well as young people and children themselves can play an important part in making World Children’s Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.
“On 20 November, Children all over the world will  stand up for a more equal, inclusive world, UNICEF said.
November 20, 1959 was the day the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. In 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since 1990, World Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and Convention on Children’s rights.
The very first World Children’s Day was celebrated in 1954 and it was decided that this day will be celebrated on the 20th of November every year. It also marks the anniversary of the declaration and convention of Children’s rights by the UN General Assembly. Though World Children’s Day is celebrated on the 20th of November, different countries have different dates for their celebration.
The UN General assembly decided to celebrate this day in order to bring the children of all castes, creeds and races together. Their main aim is the welfare of children all over the world. It has been 66 years since the first World Children’s Day was celebrated and the UN General Assembly has promoted a number of causes such as HIV, Education of Children and many more.
On the occasion of the 31st World Children’s Day that was 20th November 1989, the UN General Assembly signed a treaty with the aim of protecting the civil, health, social, economic, health, political and cultural rights of children all around the globe.
World Children’s Day is important because it is an integral part of the work carried out by UNICEF to increase knowledge about the well-being of children in and around the world.
It is known to everyone that children are the future of the world, they are going to be essential that they get proper education, care and benefits in the present which is the aim behind celebrating World Children’s Day.
An important reason behind celebrating World Children’s Day every year is protecting the rights of children. Unlike adults, children cannot fight for their rights, so it becomes the duty of adults to protect them. The UN has signed many treaties and agreements to ensure that each and every child gets proper education, health care, protection from any form of violence and discrimination.
Children from an inferior financial system face a lot of problems in their life such as financial problems or healthcare problems and there is not enough conversation about it. This day is an effort to make people aware of these problems and not overlook them, instead take some steps to eradicate them.
Here are some countries that celebrate the Children’s Day on the mentioned dates:-
Argentina celebrates on second Sunday of August.
Brazil celebrates on 12th October.
India celebrates on 14th November.
Japan celebrates on 5th May
Nigeria  celebrates on 27th May.
Paraguay celebrates on 16th August .
China celebrates on 1st June
South Korea celebrate on 1st May.
Singapore celebrates on 1st October .
Sri Lanka celebrates on 1st October.
Taiwan  celebrates on 4th April.
Thailand celebrates on the second Saturday of January.
Turkey celebrate on 23rd April
Venezuela celebrates on third Sunday of July.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

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