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Sustaining The Juice In Your Marriage 

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Almost every marriage starts out as a huge celebration. With family and friends around them, every couple  steps into marriage relationship full of hopes and dreams for their future life together. However, beyond the euphoria that greets the initial coming together, how many makes it to the end, has remained a puzzle, not many could solve probably because the road to a happy marriage is one far from being easy.  Going by  today’s divorce statistics , many couples opt not to complete the journey.
Behind every lasting relationship, love is not excluded. They also do things each day to show their love. Showing your partner that you care does not require anything special or out of the ordinary. It can be as simple as doing a thoughtful act of service or really listening when they have something important to say. Keeping a relationship going for a long time is about so much more than just being compatible. At some point, conflicts will arise and you will have to make a decision between working through it or calling it a day.
However, for Chief and Chief (Mrs) Ikechukwu  Okonkwo Ogabu, they owe their happy relationship of 30 years to boundless love.. It seems like such a simple step. “Unconditional” indeed. This means that no matter how big the argument, or how huge the disagreement, love makes the bond what while. And navigating through thick and thin is made possible.
As they marked their 30th marriage anniversary a few days back,  one could but congratulate the couple for their resilience against failure.  Certainly, such feat in marriage relationship could not have been without obvious challenges purported to frustrate partners but the ability to surmount such distractions calls for celebration.
Chief (Mrs) Okonkwo Ogabu, a former chairman of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Rivers State, and currently, the Deputy National President of the same body, recounts that marriage is never a bed of roses.  It is a very challenging venture especially in Africa where marriage goes beyond the nuclear family to include extended family members.  And the husband and most importantly wife must have to put up with these extended family members.
Married  at very young age without  a grasp of  the intricacies of marriage,  she did not only realize with time that  marriage was not only sweet but was also tasking especially with the arrival of children.
Love she confessed was the reason she could remain resolute to her vow, stating that “When you love, you can forgive. Love is the greatest!, Love makes it easy to let go errors”. For her challenges come in diverse ways, hence the need to persevere
This  mother of 4 and  grandmother of 1, who anchored her strength in God and family love, (the will to protect my children too),  advises younger couples to love and cherish their  partner, by so doing they can easily tolerate flaws, avoid going into relationship based on material things, as this stands the risk of back firing at the long run. She did not forget the place of forgiveness in marriage relationship.
Mrs Okonkwo-Ogabu remains eternally appreciative to her Husband, Chief Ikechukwu Ogabu for being supportive of her career and life’s endeavour. She enjoins all men to emulate him
According to marriage counsellors, a marriage lasts better when partners are ready to work and walk through conflict. It would be unfair to say that couples who have been together for a long time don’t argue. They do, but they just have a better way of dealing with it.
It would be easy to blame our high rate of marital failure on things like not spending enough quality time together, allowing bitterness and resentment to build in our hearts and failing to keep communication lines open. There’s no end to books, articles and seminars that tell you how to improve these and many other aspects of your relationship. But while quality time, forgiveness and communication are vitally important to creating a happy marriage, if such things aren’t happening, it’s usually a sign of a much deeper problem. And until this problem is addressed, no amount of external behavior modification will work.
Some couples would say It’s great when your partner respects your time and lets you do your thing, but at some point, you need to make the effort to protect your time together. If you keep cancelling plans, you might soon discover that you are living with a housemate rather than a partner. Make time for date night every now and then, no matter how busy your lives get.
Experiencing new things together is one of the best things you can do to keep a relationship alive. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to discover new things. It could be travelling to a new place, or exploring new territory in the bedroom. Pick up a new couple friendly sex toy from Pleasure Delights and discover a new side of your partner.
After watching Olu Jacob’s receiving his prestigious award, three things came on my mind:
Sex alone does not keep marriage going. Friendship and companionship keeps marriage going. The body will eventually get old and you won’t have the urge for it. The children you train will eventually, leave and build their home It will get to a stage, It will just be you and your partner. What will make it fun is the friendship. You gist together, play together, pray together and many more.

By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

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Women

Different Hair Styles For Women

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Braided hairstyles can make you look natural.  They can also make you look trendy. The following hairstyles will make you look attractive.
Criss-cross goddess braids
This is perfect during periods you want to give your hair a break or when you are going on a vacation.  When you don’t want to style your hair every morning. The good thing about this kind of braid is that it does not take too long during weaving.
Dynamic side-swept cornrows

This is popular among blacks because it protects the hair.  It is free from heat for several weeks until you desire to loose it.
Asymmetrical godess braids
Mix plaits of different sizes into braids hairstyles to create texture and dimension.  Here, tiny braids are unnecessary. It is more exciting than the regular braids. It makes hairdo to look like a fun.  You can add beads to the tips.
Long chunky black braids
Always in total style. The hairdo feels very hot with alternative thin braids. No matter the volume and length, you can style the hair in ways your natural look will take.
Feed-in braids
This hairdo is beneficial in the sense that it makes cornrow hairstyles look more natural and less bulky by creating a narrow and flat point at the hairline.  This protects the edges.
Cornrows enclosed by headband braid
There is no room for breakage when you have this hairdo. It is better to protect the hairstyle by wrapping the hairdo with hair net at night.
Jumbo double-twisted updo
Here is a simple ‘updo’ for black women with natural hair that can work when going for an event. It can done in a few minutes.
Intricate boxer braids
The style of hairdo showcases your personality and your personal taste.  When you braid hairs, it protects the hair and makes you look gorgeous. So always search for hairstyles that protect your hair and gives you the best.
Reverse flat twists
Traditional cornrows go from forehead to nape, but if you have shorter hair, you want to have some volume on top of your head, reverse them.  When you reverse them, bunch of curls look very sweet and makes one look younger.
When you braid your hair, you forget about hair styling for several weeks. Braided hair will help you give your hair some rest and protect it from harsh environmental hazards.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

 

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Women  And Rubbing Of Powder During Naming Ceremony

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The significance of rubbing powder by women during naming ceremonies can not be over-emphasised.
Naming ceremonies for newborns are always a thing of joy.
In some parts of our Nigerian culture,  as soon as the news of a baby is announced, the women within that neighbourhood will gather and begin to sing songs of joy.
In most of our local communities, naming of a child is seen as symbolic and  significant, hence the need for invitaiton of friends and relatives for a ceremony or party  to announce the name of the child.
Naming ceremony is usually  marked with prayers by the family’s Christian faithful.
It is celebrated with gifts, refreshments and some other activities depending on the tradition of the people or the place where the child is born.
One usual practice in naming ceremonies in some parts of Nigeria is rubbing of white powder. In some places, immediately after the birth of the child is announced, women around the neighborhood get white powder or white native chalk and rub it on their necks and faces.
I have always wondered why it is done that way.  This is common practice in our local communities and even in urban areas where  women dominate.  Sometimes  they do it in the markets once any of their neighbours or a member in the market has a new-born.
In some areas in Nigeria, they use nzu (white native chalk).  Normally,  they do this while singing joyous songs as women are gathered and soft drinks, garden eggs, peanuts, cucumber and others are made available.
Apart from the fact that the white powder is used on necks during the child’s naming ceremony, some women also use it around their abdomen and womb area.  This is usually done for everyone who took part in the naming ceremony.
They also say that rubbing the powder around the abdomen shows that more babies will be born.
Even after that day,  other women who visit  the family are normally provided with white powder to rub on their neck  while they present gifts to the new baby.
The use of white powder at naming ceremonies at the birth of the child is said to signify purity of heart, goodwill and welcome for the new child. It also signifies happiness and joy of a gift of a child.
In some places, other preparations include cooking of rice,  preparation of pounded yam with different kind of soup during the naming ceremony.
Reports have it  that Palm oil is also a significant part of the naming ceremony. A drop of it, they say, will be put in the baby’s mouth and everyone present at the naming ceremony will also taste the oil. It is said that tasting the oil is a sign of blessing for the baby.
In some communities, things like honey, sugar, kolanut, bitter kola, alligator pepper, palmoil, sugar, sugarcane, salt, and alcohol are also used at naming ceremonies, all having different meanings.
Some other important activities at naming ceremonies are prayers said for the newborn and the parents, eating and drinking and of course, announcing the name of the child by the parents, through the person officiating the ceremony.

Eunice Choko Kayode

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Women

Early Detection: Key To Combating Breast Cancer

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For prominent Nigerians and celebrities in the country, cancer is no longer an ailment to only imagine. It is one that is currently ravaging their ranks and reducing their numbers.Such was the case of two notable women. One  48-year-old Roseline Ogbemudia, wife of the eldest son of Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, former Governor of Edo State, South-South of Nigeria, and  the other victim; a popular socialite and sister of former Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Evangelist Bimpe Oluwayose-Sorinolu. Roseline and Bimpe both battled breast cancer till death. While the former died in a hospital in India, the latter died in a London hospital.
From first discovering a tiny growth on the left or  right breast to eventually having the entire section removed through a painful and expensive surgery, life has not been the same for breast cancer survivors. Some of them eventually live from hand to mouth after losing their main source of income and other material assets in the course of battling with their situation. Regrettably, some have  had  their entire physiognomy  changed, virtually looking like the shadow of themselves and in most cases, the wounds  far from healing. A victim once painfully said, “I wish the day I felt that tiny growth on my breast which I thought was mere fat cyst never came. If  I had known that it was a cancerous lump growing in my breast, I would have paid more attention. Maybe that would have made the difference.”
From the experiences of many women under the breast cancer scourge, the world has refused to renege on its effort at getting the populace more aware of the enigma and how to combat it. For women  across the globe, the awareness created about ‘breast cancer’, cannot be forgotten in a hurry. For once, the phobia  they have had over the years of the monster called Breast cancer as a  death sentence is doused down. Now it is crystal clear that  breast cancer though  a traumatic health challenge, is curable.
In  pursuance of this course, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State chapter  appealed to government at all levels, politicians and philanthropists to provide free Chemotherapy Centres in the State. The association made the appeal during the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign organised in partnership with Engraced Life Foundation in Port Harcourt.
In  a statement by the  Chairperson, Mrs. Susan Serekara-Nwikhana and Secretary, Dr. Ngozi Anosike,  the body demanded that cancer treatments be made free so that everyone suffering from it can have access to free test and treatment, pointing out that such gesture will go a long way in reducing preventable deaths caused by cancer.
Maintaining that early detection saves lives, NAWOJ enumerated the importance of self breast examination so as to be able to detect lumps in the breast that might likely cause cancer and advised women to see their doctors once a lump is detected on any part of the breast.
The association observed with dismay that most of the women screened for free during the breast cancer awareness campaign in the State are suffering from breast cancer, but lack access to treatment due to poverty.
It expressed belief that establishment of free chemotherapy and cancer treatment centres in different locations in the state would reduce to the barest minimum the number of women who die of the deadly disease. The association,   in collaboration with Engraced Life Foundation,  embarked on some form of community outreach  to some communities within the state . Women in the visited communities had their vital signs examined,  and blood sugar tested..Thousands of women were screened for free, given medications especially  for the minor diagnosis while serious cases were referred to  Oncologists for further investigations and possible treatments.
Breast cancer, a disease that is characterised by the abnormal growth of cells in the breast (CDC, 2020). is the most common malignant disorder affecting women and the leading cause of death among them (Bray et al., 2004). The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast – but there are other symptoms too.They include:Change in size or feel of the breast,  Changes in the skin of the breast, such as dimpling or redness.Fluid leaking from the nipple, outside of pregnancy or breast-feeding. Change in position of the nipple.These symptoms can be caused by other conditions any way.
Breast cancer  is characterised by cells lining the duct turning into cancerous cells but not spreading into nearby breast tissue through the walls of the duct. It is an early stage of breast cancer, most women having it can be cured. Invasive Breast Cancer spread into surrounding breast. Most breast cancers fall into this category but the two most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells lining the milk duct, and invasive lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules of the breast.Triple-negative Breast Cancer is a type of cancer where the cancer cells don’t have estrogen or progesterone receptors and also makes little of the HER2 protein. It grows and spreads faster than other forms of invasive breast cancer and accounts for about 10-15per cent of all breast cancers.
The fourth is . Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) – IBC occurs as a result of cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin and therefore making the breast look inflamed. It is a rare form of breast cancer and accounts for only about 1-5per cent of all breast cancers.  Paget disease of the Breast  is a type of cancer that affects the nipples and areola of the breast. It is a rare form of breast cancer and usually only affects one breast. The majority of cases are found along with ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive ductal carcinoma. Angiosarcoma of the Breast– This rare type of breast cancer begins in the cells lining blood and lymph vessels. It is said to often be the result of complications of previous breast radiation treatment and tend to grow and spread rapidly.
Phyllodes Tumor – This is a tumor that develops in the connective tissue of the breast. It is a rare form of breast cancer and mostly occurs in women in their 40s. Most phyllodes tumors are  benign but 25per cent are malignant.
In the case of Nigerian women, breast cancer tends to be diagnosed at an advanced stage and the chances of survival are low (Adebamowo & Adekunle, 1999, Ihekwaba, 1992). Women in the country are also more frequently diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than women of European ancestry (Huo et al., 2009), with cases occurring at a much younger age (Adesunkanmi et al., 2006). As a result of the late presentation of the disease, the only options available are expensive treatment procedures, which may be unaffordable for the average Nigerian woman.
Though there is a high incidence of breast cancer in Nigeria, studies have shown that the majority of Nigerian women, both in rural and urban areas possess little or no knowledge about risk factors and symptoms of the disease (Motilewa et al., 2015, Olayide et al., 2017). In cases where women are aware of these, there is hesitation in seeking healthcare which results in untimely death. Religious, economic and socio-cultural factors have shown to play a part in women’s attitude towards the disease (George et al., 2019, Pruitt et al., 2014). There is also a lack of knowledge on breast self-examinations (BSE) and who should conduct them, especially in rural areas (Nwaneri et al., 2016, Oladimeji et al., 2015).
Late Mrs. Beatrice Mensah Osae, the beloved mother of Amazing Grace Baaba Danso, was diagnosed in 2011 when she discovered a tumor in her left breast which grew bigger to the point it became inoperable. It burst and became an open sore on her chest and ate away her breast even claiming her nipple. She had three chemo treatments which weakened her greatly till she switched to homeopathic treatment. This helped her regain her strength a bit but ultimately she succumbed to the disease and passed in September 2016″ .
With the high incidence and mortality rate associated with breast cancer in low and middle income countries like Nigeria, there is a need for efforts to be made to create more awareness about the disease, especially among uneducated women and proper structures for early detection. With proper education of women in both rural and urban areas and affordable screening programmes developed, the chances of survival can be increased. Policies on the breast cancer detection and care also need to be developed and disseminated to aid healthcare workers make informed decisions.
Above all,  early diagnosis  which has been proven to improve survival chances, should be encouraged especially through the use of the media to spread the message of breast cancer, its  signs and symptoms, causes as well as management procedures.

By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

 

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