The African Woman On Social Media: Where Is Your Dignity?

In a recent article, l wrote about how the Nigerian women in Nollywood have misrepresented the African woman. This article is a follow up to it.

The African Woman On Social Media, Where Is Your Dignity?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_2016

Adeola Aderounmu

In a recent article, l wrote about how the Nigerian women in Nollywood have misrepresented the African woman.  (https://adeola.blog/2018/02/24/nollywood-is-failing-africa-in-the-appearances-of-african-women/).This article is a follow up to it.

It is now generally accepted that for the African woman to be accepted as pretty or beautiful, she needs to be wearing a foreign hair popularly called wigs. The wigs come in various colours, sizes, forms and dimensions. As I previously pointed out, the industry provides jobs for several women and is a multibillion-dollar industry in Africa and globally.

The target is simple. It is the African woman who has lost her pride and sense of dignity. The present generation of African women dominating the social media, film industry and other social platforms have lost it completely. They are rich, they are famous and they are celebrities. But they lack one thing: self-dignity.

Again, l will go back memory lane. I am 46 years old and I remember growing up in Lagos, South-West Nigeria. My mother never liked the idea of my sisters putting chemicals on their hair and she frowned at it. Her take was that my sisters must always braid their hair the African way. It was the same for many families. Our parents did all they could to persuade our sisters and even some of us guys from using chemicals on our hair. The barber shop it was for us.

But just a couple of years down the lane. The dignity of the African woman has been completely eroded. She takes no pride in the colour of her skin. She takes no pride in the texture of her hair. She takes no pride in her curly, tangled hair. The African woman wants straight hair. It is so bad that so many African girls and ladies would not appear in public without the foreign hair.

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Omotola Talade-Ekeinde (@realomosexy)

It is going to be one of those huge tasks that we have ahead of us in Africa to reverse and revert the trend. But it is a cause some of us must continue to remind ourselves of. The celebrities and stars on Nigerian and African screens have failed Nigeria and Africa. They are big stars and they are the biggest hope of a trend reverse.

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Funke Akindele Bello (@funkejenifaakindele)

A few of our stars are featured here. There are several more. But we just need all of them to take up the cause and help us reverse the trend. They may also need help themselves because they will not be able to do something about it if they don’t realise that they too have lost their sense of dignity and African-ness. But with several million followers on Instagram and twitter, the best way to bring back the pride of the African woman is through these social celebrities and actresses.

Some may argue that they use the wigs for acting and work, but that argument does not hold water. What is wrong with acting and working with the African hair? Why must we act, work, live and go around with foreign hair? Why are we not proud of who we are and what nature endowed us with?

 

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Toyin Abraham (@toyin_abraham)

We need Africans to promote Africa. We need ourselves to sustain and maintain our values, culture and way of life. We have lost our languages. We have lost our mode of dressings. We cannot afford to lose our heads and our brains with the hairs. Something urgent need to be done.

In our schools, from the primary to the university, awareness need to be created about the pride of the African woman. One day l wrote to @iamlizzyjay about her natural hair and l implored her to keep it African. But l see how hard it is to remain pure and natural in the industry because she wore wigs a few times and went back to natural a few times.

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Linda Ikeji (@officiallindaikeji)

@calabarchic does not even know where to stay. She is also back and forth. She’s trying to keep her natural hair but the industry and the “norm” for what a woman in Nigeria should look like is creating a lot of confusion. It is like if you are not wearing wig or a foreign hair, you are local. That is how terrible the image and dignity of the African woman had been battered.

 

You have to feel sorry for the African woman especially from the entertainment industry point of view. They need help. We need help because their takes have destroyed our values and expectations of the women that nature gave us. We need a return to the basics.

 

 

We need role models of African origins to keep African culture and tradition.

I look forward to the day that African women will look 100% African again.

 

 

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The Dream

“To live long, love other people including your family as you love yourself. Don’t be greedy because that is the origin of sadness. Be careful to learn every day”

The Dream

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Olawale had a dream.

When he woke up, he had forgotten the dream. He was afraid because he had forgotten the dream. In his village, the people always say when you forget your dreams that the gods may have forsaken you.

Nobody knows if the postulation is superstitious or not. Some people thought it is a way of promoting spiritual awareness and consciousness of the unseen dimension or the supernatural world.

They say that dreams are the revelations of the things to come. They say that dreams are ways to remember their forefathers and it will be the way that their children will remember them.

Dreams can be the substantial evidence of reincarnation and the fulfilment of the wish to live forever.

It is like that. Our departed parents and grandparents come to us and we go to them in our dreams. Olawale remembered one of his father’s postulations.

Therefore the gift of dream and the gift of memory are cherished among the dwellers.

In this village, you will never tell anyone about your dreams if you don’t remember them.

By following their dreams many people have accomplished outstanding feats. Many have found a way to move on with their lives, away from the points of hopelessness.

Olawale had forgotten some of his dreams before. It is not unusual for people to forget dreams. This is because the transition between night and day in our sleep is endless.

No one knows what breaks the transition for the people who return to day with consciousness.

It was in this village that people first ask if another person has woken up on the wrong side of the bed.

They think that the people who are angry in the mornings are those who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. They think that you lack spiritual guidance if you forget your dreams and that could be one of the sources of your anger.

Nobody is perfect and no mortal will always remember all their dreams. If they do, they will transform to gods and there will be too many gods for human needs and desires.

Olawale was also sad.

So for 7 days he almost didn’t speak to anyone. He only replied and gave short answers when people spoke to him.

His parents didn’t hear from him as much as they would have wanted. When he is returning from work, he usually pays them a visit on his way home. When he had gone home on another route, he calls them from a local telephone kiosk.

But this week is different because he felt inadequate for forgetting yet another dream.

On the 8th day he decided to leave the house and go for a long walk in the forest. He wanted to clear his mind.

After walking for just 15 minutes he was very tired. He was tired because he had also not been eating very well since the day he forgot his last dream.

So he said to himself, I will rest.

Then he sat down on a big stone. He rested. But he fell asleep on the stone.

He rolled off the stone and fell down on the other side of it. He was shaking. He did not know when he fell asleep. Now he is awake and the big stone is above him.

As he was about to stand up, he saw a bag under the stone. But he was afraid because he didn’t know how the bag got there. He was more afraid for what could be the content of the bag.

As he was pondering about where he is and how a bag could have landed under a big stone in the forest, his “forgotten” dream came back to him like a flash.

Eight days ago, he had dreamt that he became a very rich man during his middle-age. So he was upset when he forgot the dream because he had a feeling it was something positive.

Now he remembers his dream and he saw a mysterious bag.

He started to ponder about the meaning of his dream. He is still afraid. He is not sure what could be inside the bag and he was alone in the forest.

How can a bag lie under the stone in the forest where nobody lives? He pondered.

He took the bag from under the stone and was surprised that such a big bag felt to light when he took it up. He opened it and found nothing but a letter inside the bag.

Dear son,

To be happy, you need to find the things that you like. Do them and you’ll be happy.

To be well, eat fresh food that you cook yourself.

When you get married, take care of your wife and children.

Don’t let the sun go down on your anger or frustrations.

Instead take a walk for life, for health.

Be of kind heart and show appreciation for the things you have.

Work hard and don’t forget to spend from your savings.

Contentment, not material richness, is the secret of happiness.

To live long, love other people including your family as you love yourself.

Don’t be greedy because that is the origin of sadness.

These are some of the simple lessons of life.

But be careful to learn every day.

The lessons you learn will guide you. They’ll enrich you.

When the alarm went on Olawale woke up and realised that he had been asleep for 3 hours. He was sweating, so he took a cold shower and spent the evening reflecting about his dream.

In it he learnt about some of the simple secrets of life in a letter that he found in a bag in the forest.

aderounmu@gmail.com

(c) 2014

The Madrilenian (part 3)

I will start a new life. I will create my own future and make love the foundation.

The Madrilenian (Part 3)

By Adeola Aderounmu

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Unknown to Pablo, his sisters took up the task of finding out more about Patricia since the day he invited them for a family reunion. It was a day he ate well and spoke the most to them ever. He had a little drink and spoke about everything that happened to him in St. Petersburg.

What he told them was enough for his sisters to hire a private investigator to locate Patricia in Madrid. This family has adequate wealth to do the things they actually set their minds on together.

Pablo’s sisters travelled to Madrid when the private investigator brought back his reports. They thanked him and paid him the outstanding fees.

Patricia is single, has a decent job and lives quietly on Castellana Drive-a part of Madrid that is about 0,5 mile from Santiago Bernabéu.

She laughed when she met Aleksandra, Cecilia and Viveca.

She spoke to them earlier on the phone and was open to meeting them. They even brought their children and spent a few days in Madrid. Together, they went to Santiago Bernabéu and saw Real Madrid won against Atletico Bilbao.

Since their first meeting in St. Petersburg, Patricia and Pablo have remained in constant touch with each other but like all emerging strange hearts trying to make love work, they were yet to agree on a few things.

Should she leave Spain for Catalonia or will Pablo leave Catalonia for Spain?

They have met once in Madrid and twice in Barcelona in recent months. They always joke of having different nationalities and they think that politicians are crazy citizens.

The future is always undefined; therefore many people always want to remain close to their families.

The family remains the greatest source of comfort and solace both during war and in the time of peace. It took Pablo a long time to realise some of these elements and values of family.

Did he suffer from a sort of disorder that heals with time and age? What went wrong when he was growing up? There is no need to worry about the past. For his family the best gift for the future is the present development in Pablo’s life.

For Pablo it felt good to get have this bond and to look forward to ways of finding the missing puzzle bits in his life.

Patricia promised to think about the proposals that the sisters brought with the wonderful, introduction visit.

Aleksandra is a top executive in Girona. Her vast experience in human resources and consultancy means that she can connect people with newer opportunities in Catalonia and other places in Spain.

The sisters came with a job offer in Girona for Patricia. Patricia may have to choose between all the comfort she has now and a future where she can have a new family.

I will think about it. She said as the sisters headed for the airport and flew back to Girona.

As she thought about what the future may bring, she asked herself, why did l travel to St. Petersburg? Was Moscow not enough for me? But she asked these questions not out of regret but fear.

That night as she lay on her bed looking at the dim lit lamp hanging from the roof, she took herself on the memory lane and thought about where she was coming from and where she could be heading.

Then she conquered her fears. Only cowards are afraid of changes she told herself. I am a Madrilenian and I should not be afraid to fill the vacuum in my life.

I have comfort, but I also still have a need. She tries to find a permanent reasoning that will stir her mood in the most positive way possible.

She went deeper in her thoughts in search of the positive energy locked in her soul.

She must find the conviction that that this change is the next stage of her life.

If this will be my future, so be it. So she decided she will go to Girona, to Pablo and to Pablo’s lovely sisters and their beautiful children.

I will start a new life. I will create my own future and make love the foundation.

She told her family about the latest development. They wished her well and promised to visit her often.

Patricia had been living in Girona for 2 weeks before she found the air that took her to Pablo’s house.

She turned off the location settings on her mobile devices when she left Madrid. She tested her new job, she lived with Pablo’s parents and she started to find her way around the town. Luckily she didn’t run into Pablo all of those times.

Pablo didn’t know that Patricia was living in the same town so he was obviously not looking at every person or object until now when he saw that someone was sitting in his garden, with back to the main street.

When he turned around and saw the face of the person sitting in his garden, he was speechless.

It was the same dumbness and reaction he had the first time he saw her image in the glass at St. Petersburg. She is beautiful.

Patricia was already crying before he arrived. Pablo could not hold back his tears too.

She gave him a gift she brought from Madrid. The packet contains a bracelet with the inscription, The Madrilenian. He thanked her.

They hugged each other and went inside.

(Concluded)

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Madrilenean (Part 2)

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Pablo was immensely attracted to the image of the woman in the glass. His heart skipped some beats. When he turned around to look at the woman, he met a smile on her face.

Then she said excuse me, I didn’t mean to distract or disturb you. I am sorry if I did.

For the first time in his life, Pablo felt that someone spoke to him so kindly that he thought he heard the voice of an angel.

It took him more than 5 seconds to utter a word. Oh…no……it’s alright. You did not disturb me. 

As the woman was leaving, he said my name is Pablo. I am Patricia she turned back and replied.

Then Pablo knew from her accent that she is from Spain. So they continued their conversation in Spanish.  First he made a joke; I would rather say you are “an attraction”.

Then he asked her if she now knows where she was going.

Yes, I do she replied. I found it on the same map you were looking at.

She was laughing because Pablo said she was an attraction. She knew he was making reference to her first comment.

This was also the first time that Pablo had on his own spoken to a girl that was not his sister.

He had no control over what he was going through. He was actually talking to a complete stranger and making a joke he didn’t know how it would be received.

But it seemed he had the confidence and will to continue the conversation.

He remembered not knowing the meaning of love or how to express it. He remembered his promise never to love anyone because of those deficiencies.

But love is stronger than anything else. Love has its own language. It is universal and indomitable.

You can pretend to run away from love but when the time is right it will find you no matter where you are. Love is freedom from bondage.

Love is nature itself. It is the reason for night and day.

Love is the reason for different seasons.

The next day Pablo had coffee with Patricia at The Coffee House close to the central station in St. Petersburg. They sat outside partly because it was a sunny day and partly because they dislike the smell of the cigarette that filled the shop.

Patricia had been around in Moscow for about 2 weeks and she came to St. Petersburg because she wanted to see why the city is the cultural center of Russia. When she met Pablo, she was checking how to the get to the Main Port just as she had planned in Moscow the day before.

What was not in her plan was meeting a man from Girona in Russia. In 48 hours she will be flying home to Madrid. But first she must get back to her hotel in Moscow where most of her belongings are.

They talked about almost everything and anything: work, family, living in Spain and living in Catalonia. They spoke of Catalonia as an independent country and what may happen in the future.

That night Patricia went back to Moscow.

Pablo stayed in St. Petersburg for 7 more days. Every day he thought about Patricia. Every day he went back to the map at the central station. He wished that Patricia will change her plans and probably come back to check the map for newer directions.

At the end of his short stay, Pablo flew directly from St. Petersburg to the local airport at Girona.

His colleagues at the factory noticed something strange about him. He was more open and more talkative. They thought that he would stop when he had finished sharing his travel experiences and the things he saw, but it went on.

So in good fate the people made many jokes. One man asked: what kind of drugs or stimulants do they sell in Russia? One lady said Russian Vodka has the longest hangover effect.

His work mate in the engine room added: when you are in Moscow don’t drink coffee at a smoky coffee shop. He misunderstood that The Coffes House bar was actually in St. Petersburg. Pablo heard none of the jokes or gossip that passed.

When Pablo’s sisters received his letters asking them to attend a family reunion, they called one another and expressed shock. Cecilia said the letters cannot be real. The eldest sister always has a way to show her age and wisdom. So she asked: what shall we lose if we drive home to mamma and pappa even if the invitation for a family reunion is not real?

But they knew the invitation was real, it was just hard to imagine it coming from Pablo.

Pablo’s parents are glad they are still alive. They will host all their children at the behest of Pablo.

They are happy because they know that though it appeared strange, something has definitely happened to Pablo.

He’s getting close to 30.  He now knows the meaning of love and sharing.

His father remembered how he promised himself never to worry about Pablo again. He believes in the spirit of the puma and he thought that the puma has met Pablo in Russia and helped him find his way.

One day when Pablo returned from work. He found a stranger sitting in his garden. He walked round the person to see who it was.

(read the conclusion next week)

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Madrilenean

“I will go to a place where nobody knows my name, a place where the language is different”

The Madrilenean

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Pablo grew up in Girona. This town has about 100 000 people. His childhood went too quickly or maybe not. It depends on which perspective he chose. When he thought about the years he had to endure with his sisters, then it was a long, uneventful childhood.

On the other hand when he thought about what could have happened if he could turn back the time, then it was a period that went rather quickly. As a result of his feelings during his teenage and college days, he forgone many things that many other children his age did.

There are many things that Pablo will like to forget. There are so many things he hoped will be left in his thoughtless moments.

But what happened to Pablo actually that almost destroyed his life especially his relationship with his family. Here is the story.

Pablo has 3 sisters. He is the only son of his parents. At a very early age, he started to pull away from everyone in his household. He felt totally different. When his parents noticed his strange withdrawal, they tried to pamper him. Pablo’s withdrawal became more intense and his parents regretted that they did not consult a professional. Where did we go wrong? His mother pondered.

One day his father decided to take a long walk. He thought deeply about his family situation-how his daughters are having the best days of their lives and how his only son is turning to a complete stranger. He slipped at the edge of the pavement and broke a toe. He is a man who believes in omen. His favourite is the spirit of the puma.

Once he had a twisted ankle when he was taking a walk in the woods and thinking about Pablo. When he got a broken toe walking on the other side of the town, he decided that he will never worry about Pablo again. He thought he may develop a serious health problem like stroke if he worries more about Pablo. A twisted ankle and then a broken toe will do. The spirit of the puma will guide Pablo, he reasoned.

It didn’t matter what anyone did, Pablo did not feel that he was loved. At home the conclusion was that Pablo was acting the last child or the last born. One day Aleksandra the eldest sister told a joke and said, mamma, maybe you should have let pappa make the 5th baby. Maybe Pablo wanted a brother to play with. He doesn’t like us because we are girls.

Pablo was 10 years at the time and the joke turned out to be a bad one. He locked himself in the room and skipped school for 3 days. He came out only when everyone had left home and helped himself to some juice and biscuits. His mother cried. She was completely devastated how bad things turned out socially for Pablo.

Pablo had always thought that his sisters are getting all the attention at home. No one is sure exactly when he got that perception but it must have registered in his brain quite early. His mother even said, maybe he heard too many voices when he was a foetus and got fed up with everyone even before he was born.

On the surface everyone at home knew that Pablo’s feelings or perceptions were incorrect. But deep inside they don’t know what approach would make him cherish and love them the way they love him. So the most difficult task at home and sometimes at school and at the playgrounds was how to correct the impressions and help Pablo get along socially. He was growing up and his family feared that he may become a social misfit. This trait is uncommon in Catalonia.

What was obvious was that Pablo did not know how to feel as a boy because everywhere he looked in the house, he saw girls and things that belonged to girls. This made him uncomfortable and sad and he thought he was different from the other boys in his class. His heart continued to grow cold as he grew up.

Pablo hated school. It is a place that brought him in contact with many other categories of people. However he learnt to dissociate his social deficiency from his academic needs. Therefore he excelled even as a withdrawn student. This was one of the reasons his parents did not seek professional help for him. His future looks bright, his mother said to his father one day when they looked at some of his results after a quarterly conference with the school teachers.

When he was 18 Pablo started to work at the postal agency. He saved a lot of money because this is a work he had no need for. His father is wealthy and even his mother inherited a lot of fortunes from her grandparents. His parents understood that Pablo took the job so he could skip encountering his sisters at home. It was one of his weird ideas of what freedom means.

By the time Pablo became a graduate at the age of 23, there was only one of his sisters left unmarried. With only Cecilia at home, Pablo was beginning to see the world from another perspective. But he had a hard time to express his feelings. He never liked his sisters yet he’s feeling the vacuum created when Aleksandra and Viveca left home forever.

When he was a young boy he promised never to love anyone because he doesn’t know what it means. I will never know what it means to love, he told himself. He hated his childhood. He does not like to remember it. He felt lonely, quite often. These women have ruined my life, so he thought. He cannot remember when he started hearing their voices but it appeared like forever until now that Cecil is the only one left.

Despite all his troubles Pablo turned out to be one of the outstanding engineers in Girona. People have noticed that he likes to be alone but they have also come to appreciate his effectiveness and productivity at work. This was also an outstanding observation his former boss made when he worked at the postal agency.

Pablo found the courage and will to rent his own apartment. When he was 25 and Cecil was preparing to get married, Pablo decided it was time for him to move on. That’s what he did.

One day Pablo was tired after work. It was his third year at the factory and he had accumulated his annual leave. So he decided he will travel to another city in another country. He made up his mind to travel to a place he had never been before.

I will go to a place where nobody knows my name, a place where the language is different. So he left. He travelled by road to Barcelona and flew from there to St. Petersburg.

One day he stood at the central station at St. Petersburg. He was looking at the map, trying to find his way around.

But the map he was looking at was inside a frame made of glass. So it also looked like a mirror. He saw himself as he looked at the map for directions.

Suddenly he saw the image of a woman too. There was a pretty woman looking at the same map. She stood behind him.

(Read Part 2 Next Week)

aderounmu@gmail.com

Yoruba Union in Stockholm Celebrates 2nd Annual Yoruba Day (Photo Essay)

By Adeola Aderounmu

The Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden successfully hosted its second annual Yoruba Day celebration on Saturday the 10th of May 2014.

This celebration of Yoruba culture and tradition has been lauded by several guests and participants as an improvement of the maiden edition which took place on the 11th of May 2013.

The first annual Yoruba Day was reported here in the village square at this link:

[http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/photo-news-yoruba-union-in-stockholm-celebrates-yoruba-day.html]

Just like the maiden edition the special guest of honour was the Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, Amb. Benedict Onochie Amobi. His wife, Her Excellency Mrs. Sheila Amobi was also in attendance.

Among other dignitaries were Sola Mansur Amao, Engineer Olatunde Aluko, Prince Jeffrey Ajani, Mrs. Clara Rogo, Mr. John Rogo, Princess Adetoun Lasebikan, Mrs. Susan Amao, and Mrs. Egbo of the Nigerian Embassy, Stockholm. Mr. Dominic Emene the president of the Nigerian Union in Stockholm was also in attendance.

Adeola Aderounmu giving the welcome address

Adeola Aderounmu giving the welcome address

During the celebration, the members of the Yoruba Union had 2 sessions of Yoruba Cultural dances and a short drama on traditional marriage in Yorubaland was the last event of a very eventful evening.

The president of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Adeola Aderounmu gave the welcome address and also had a 15-minute lecture titled: Ile-Ife, Our Ancestral and Spiritual Home.

Adeola presenting the lecture on Obatala, Oduduwa, Creation and Modern Yoruba History

Adeola presenting the lecture on Obatala, Oduduwa, Creation and Modern Yoruba History


In the presentation, he highlighted the position of Ile-Ife as the origin on all Yorubas worldwide. He also gave a brief account of creation through the hands of Oduduwa and Obatala.

Adeola introducing the members of the executives of YORUBA UNION Stockholm, Sweden

Adeola introducing the members of the executives of YORUBA UNION Stockholm, Sweden

During his own speech Ambassador Amobi congratulated the Yoruba Union for sustaining the Yoruba Day celebration and for the progress that has been made since the previous edition. He also mentioned the immense role played by the Yoruba Union in Stockholm during the IFE Dynasty and Ancient Art Exhibition at the Modern Museum in Stockholm.

Amb. Benedict Amobi giving a speech at the Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm, May 10 2014

Amb. Benedict Amobi giving a speech at the Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm, May 10 2014

Ambassador Amobi condemned the rise of terrorism in Northern parts of Nigeria and Abuja. He mentioned that the government is working to stem the rise of Boko Haram. He also condemned the kidnap of school girls from Chibokdignitaries

cs charly adagbon

Below are some of the pictures showing the successful hosting of the Second Annual Yoruba Day by members of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden.

Happy Viewing:

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During the Yoruba Day celebration there was plenty to eat and drink as the buffet covered several of the Yoruba traditional dishes. The atmosphere was brilliant and ignited by dance, merry and happiness.

For more pictures/images visit our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/yorubaunion/

Our website, http://www.yorubaunion.se

Mail us, info@yorubaunion.se

Videos on Yoruba Union STOCKHOLM Channel on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/YORUBAUNION