Written by Felix Akpotu, originally posted on Greenbiro.com.
The news of a 14yr old girl who committed suicide in the UK hit me really hard. As a young person, I’m still trying to come to terms
with the emotions she must have felt before she resorted to taking her
own life. It must have been really devastating for her.
Her touching story has been trending on news websites and blogs, but
what I find most devastating about it is the heart wrenching poem she
wrote before she died. Called I Give Up, the poem is about her torment at the hands of school bullies and internet trolls.
Here is an excerpt of the poem:
“They begin to tell me that nobody wants me there. They tell me to leave and that I am not wanted.
Going by the reports of the events leading to her death, you could
call her a ‘social matyr’- a saint of digital persecution (on Facebook, Ask.fm
etc.). Her parents have already launched a petition calling for the
closure of the controversial website Ask.fm. The Latvian-based site,
which has been linked to several teenage suicides, allows unidentified
users to post comments and questions to a person’s profile.
The story of Izzy Dix is gives a societal depiction of James
Cameron’s Titanic and how our communities are sinking in a lagoon of
But that’s all in Europe anyway. Tell a true Naija teenager about this emotional incidence and he may simply tell you she is a spoilt child; a cowardly ajebutta.
The truth is committing suicide in Nigeria is as weird as Obasanjo
being a model. With an unemployment rate of almost 70% and issues such
as corruption and poor educational standards to grapple with, it seems
Nigerians have more problems to worry about than bullying.
The average Nigerian, no matter how poor, would rather persevere
until he has a medal hanging around his neck rather than a strangling
rope. That simple man on the street you see without a kobo has dreams
even Dangote can’t afford!
How can a Nigerian be bullied into suicide? A friend of mine asked
this question as we were discussing this news some hours ago. Nigerians
have already been bullied by fate, it would only be a total waste taking
our lives over it. P-Square understood this when they sang ‘Do me I do you, man no go vex’.
She said they called her “ugly”, “freak”, “frigid”. If she put her
hands up in class, she’d be labelled a “swot” and they’d snigger at her,
or make crude comments. They’d exclude her from events, tell her to go
home, she wasn’t wanted. They name-called by text, then online. She’d
get abuse on Facebook and filth on that awful site Ask.fm.
While I quite understand that these must be very painful for a 14
year-old girl, I can’t shake off the thought that it would be almost
impossible for this to push a Nigerian teenager to suicide. We are
almost too green (intellectually fertile) and white (honourable) to
easily give up. We could be very optimistic. The African tolerance is
ancestral. Life in our communities is very costly, and you don’t take it
anyhow. In humble comparison, it is clear that Europe is farther from
Africa in culture than it is in geographical distance.
I sincerely condole with Izzy’s parents. They must be going through a
very devastating time. Losing a child is nothing anyone wishes for and I
pray God comforts them in this difficult time.
But whether African, whether European, let us wake up to the
realization that the words we say to each other hit deeper than we
actually think and be mindful of how we treat ourselves. And when it
comes to a response to bullying, we need to educate our children to turn
the other cheek, rather than become bullies themselves. Two wrongs
don’t make a right. We all need to rise above this, take our hurt, anger
and passion and use it to rally together for real societal change.
A kind word, an encouraging smile, goes a long way in easing one’s pain. Let’s share it freely.
Rest in peace, Izzy.
A few days ago, some blogs reported that Midnight crew's Mike Abdul was having issues with his wife, as a matter of fact, it was reported that he divorced his wife, Vivien Stephen Eva and was cheating with gospel singer Monique. You can read the story HERE on OLUFAMOUS.
I personally had to ask Mike Abdul what was going on!
Responding to the story, an embittered Mike Abdul said "My
name is MIKE ABDUL. You don't really know the devil's tricks until he
plays it on you. May the conscience of evil doers be their judge. When
they seek honour, they will not find it. They will not lack shame and