On the ‘dangers’ of female travel

Road Essays

This could just be a story about countries deemed dangerous for women to travel to. But it’s more than that. This is a story about our perception of danger and how we’re told time and time again that the unfamiliar and the foreign are more dangerous to us than what is on our own doorstep.

A couple of months back, British tabloid the Daily Mail ran a story in their travel section titled ‘Sex attacks, muggings, and harassment: World’s most dangerous holiday destinations for women (and some of them may surprise you)’. The top ten list declared India; Brazil; Turkey; Thailand; Egypt; Colombia; South Africa; Morocco; Mexico; and Kenya to be the most dangerous countries for female travellers.

We’ll get back to that shortly.  First I want to tell you about a strange encounter I had in Medellin, Colombia in 2001.

After a hard couple of days travelling…

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Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar’s New Album

Brian Mooney

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds of institutional and internalized racism that manifest in the lives of Morrison’s African-American characters, particularly the 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove and her mother, Pauline. We posed questions about oppression and the media – and after looking at the Dick & Jane primers that serve as precursors to each chapter, considered the influence of a “master narrative” that always privileges whiteness.

Set in the 1940s, the Breedlove family lives in poverty. Their only escape is the silver screen, a place where they idolize the glamorous stars of the film industry. Given the historical context…

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Toke Makinwa, Noble Igwe, Debola Williams, others invited on a tour of Rivers state


During Adebola Williams surprise party hosted by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state last week, someone at the get-together challenged his tenure/achievements as a governor. To prove himself, he invited 10 media personalities at the party to Rivers state on a private tour to show them the improvements he’s made in the state.

The 10 were on a private jet to the state this weekend. Amongst them were Toke Makinwa, Noble Igwe, Adebola Williams, Bolanle Olukanmi, Arese amongst others. See some private jet photos after the cut…




INEC Electoral Institute gutted by fire, commission says no sensitive material was destroyed


The Independent National Electoral Commission’s Electoral Institute in Abuja was gutted by fire around 11pm on Saturday March 13th. While conducting pressmen around the burnt warehouse, the INEC Director of Security, Mr. Shettima Ngilladar, said only non sensitive materials used in the 2011 election as well as bags, envelopes, election forms and electrical control panel/ switch were destroyed during the fire incident which burned into Sunday 2am.

No material to be used for the 2015 election was destroyed. The fire outbreak was attributed to power surge…

“There was no power and when power was restored and the alarm was heard, security men and the in-house fire fighting men started going round until they discovered smoke coming from the warehouse where we keep our non-sensitive materials. So, they battled to gain access to the fire to quench it. It started about 11pm and by 2am they were able to put out the fire. Aside our in-house firemen, firemen from FCT Garki and even the NNPC fire service came. But when they came, the fire was already under control. All these people rallied round to help.

“These are non-sensitive materials that have been banned in the warehouse. You will see it yourself. It is not hidden. It is something clear, these banned non-sensitive materials have nothing to do with the elections. They are old materials in store that have not been evacuated. These are old stock of non-sensitive materials, like bags, envelopes, election forms which were used in the 2011 elections. They won’t be used for the 2015 elections. Everything here is non-sensitive.” he said.

Photo credit: Punch

Alfa arrested for sexually assaulting 17 year old in Lagos


The Lagos state police command have arrested a Muslim cleric, Abdullahi Omobolaji popularly known as Alfa over allegations of sexual assault on a 17 year old girl identified as Idowu at Bakare lane in the Agege area of Lagos state.

According to Punch, the assault on the girl started in November 2014 after the 40 year old Alfa who hails from Kwara state lured her to his room which he used for spiritual consultation and claimed to have seen a vision that she had been placed under a curse by a man and that the only way she can be redeemed was for him (Alfa) to have sex with her. People still fall for this sh*t? Continue…
Narrating what transpired between herself and the Alfa, Idowu said
“It started in November, 2014 when Alfa Abdullahi called me and said I should always come to meet him if I needed anything since my dad was dead and my mum was unable to cater to all my needs. Later, he told me that he had seen a vision, adding that a man had placed an evil mark on me. He asked me to rinse my hand with cold water which he the put on the fire. When the water finally boiled and I brought it down, I saw two cowries and a ring in the water. Alfa said that was what the man put inside my body and he (Alfa) was the only man that could remove the evil mark from me. He said he must sleep with me three times, and that was how he slept with me. He said I must never tell anyone what happened between us and if I did, I would die just like my father did a few years back”
Idowu said a few days after her first encounter, Alfa called her to go and buy an egg which he instructed her to rub all over her body
“Then he said I should break it. I found seven needles in the egg. Alfa then said he would have to sleep with me seven times. I pleaded with him not to since he only recently slept with me three times, but he insisted on doing it, “she said
Idowu’s mother who is a Fashion designer said it was one of her customers who informed her of the development. She confronted Alfa who reportedly beat her up for accusing him of such a crime. Men of the Isokoko Police Division in Agege were later invited and Alfa was arrested last Wednesday, March 11th.

However, a family member of the Alfa who spoke anonymously said the Alfa and Idowu were in a relationship and that she was only framing the Alfa
“The girl framed up the cleric.They have been sleeping with each other since last year.”he said
Meanwhile the Lagos state Police command spokesperson, Kenneth Nwosu while confirming the matter said the case would be called up in court today March 16th.

Don’t attempt to kill Buhari, APC warns PDP


The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Lai Mohammed has sounded a warning to the PDP not to attempt to assasinate Gen Buhari or one of its Chieftains, Chief Bola Tinubu as it had allegedly done in the past. Lai Mohammed, who made the allegation in an interview with Punch yesterday, said any attempt on their lives would lead to consequences that will be very dear for this country.
“I have never seen a government so terrified of elections as this present administration. And I have never seen a candidate so terrified of the opposition as Jonathan.
Even as recent as last week, (Ekiti State Governor Ayodele) Fayose was asking for the withdrawal of Buhari from the Presidential election; and it is just bizarre -but that coming from Fayose, one should not be surprising. Coming to issue of security, they have made an attempt on his (Buhari) life once before; it can be done again. But, let us warn them that any attempt on the life of Buhari or Bola Tinubu will lead to a consequence that will be very dear for this country. They should not even contemplate it.”he said
In the interview, the APC chairman said the allegation leveled against President Jonathan’s administration by Former President OLusegun Obasanjo in December 2013 that they were training sniper men to assassinate opposition politicians was true

“It is true. They were trained in Belarus. They are security agents drawn from the NIA, the DSS, the Police, the Air Force and the Navy. They were trained on how to take out targets without any trace or without being discovered and they will leave the scene quietly.”he said
In a swift reaction, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Abdullahi Jalo dismissed Mr Lai Mohammed’s allegations, calling on him to provide evidence to prove that the PDP had intentions of assassinating Gen Buhari

“The PDP is committed to the election peace pact signed in Abuja. We will abide by it. It is a covenant we are determined to keep. Having said that, the burden of proof concerning Lai’s allegation rests on him and the party. In the usual manner of whipping up sentiments to deceive Nigerians, they have come up with this propaganda. Let him and his party provide photo, video, audio or meeting place where a plot to assassinate their presidential candidate was hatched. Nigerians have become wiser today. They cannot be swayed by the APC propaganda machine,” he said.