I decided to go over the blog archive on my blog page to check out what it was we were talking about this time last year (September 2013).
Today in history, September 25, 2013, the Kenyan Westgate Mall terrorist attack - which I blogged about with the title "The Westgate Siege" ended. The combine force of the Kenyan military and Special Forces from friendly countries forcibly freed the hostages that were being held captive for four days at the Westgate Mall in Kenya by a section of the Al-Shabbab terrorist group. This terrorist organization that tormented Kenya and Somalia and was reportedly involved in Mali and the so called Maghreb had attacked the mall on Saturday the 21st of September 2013 with guns and grenades shooting and killing innocent citizens at random. By the time the siege was over 67 people were dead including Kofi Awoonor, the literally giant from Ghana who had gone to Kenya to attend a conference and was visiting the mall with his son. Gory stories of death and survival flooded the screen in the 4 days of the siege that captivated the world's attention.
Al-shabbab was a major terror force in that side of Africa unleashing terror across Somalia and Kenya while supporting terror campaigns in Northern Mali with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and with the Westgate Mall attack, came to instant prominence as a worldwide terrorist group. One year after, we haven't heard much about them anymore. The French forces moved into Mali and decimated AQIM, ended the conflict in Mali, restored the government there, and Al-Shabbab too is gradually being decimated, their leader was killed in August 2014, and the relative stability in Mali means that their feeder team has been curbed successfully.
Fast forward to Sept 24, 2014, the US is leading a coalition of nations to attack another Islamic terrorist group - ISIS who had taken control of certain parts of Iraq, where they had declared a caliphate. The group of nations including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are working with the aim of decimating and eliminating the terrorist group - ISIS. Nigeria too is finally contending aggressively for the cities that were taken over by Boko Haram, where they too said they had formed a caliphate. News on the 25th of September showed prove that the head of the Boko Haram terrorist group - Abubakar Shekau had been killed by the Nigerian forces in Konduga town Borno State, after a fierce battle, marking a major victory in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. Now that Shekau is dead, we hope that our Chibok girls will be found and that the armed forces will #BringBackOurGirls.
This time in history, September 2013, the story of that 14 year old boy that stowed away in an Arik flight was rife in the media. The boy had gained access into the tyre compartment of an Arik Air plane in Benin and stowed away to Lagos. I recall I was at one of the airports to catch a flight a few days after the incidence was reported in the papers, and had some time to analyze the chances of the boy successful coming out of the bushes to get to the plane. It looked really ridiculous. For one, the expanse of the runway meant that you could see across a large area of the tarmac and the loading deck at a time. For the boy to run so fast that he got to the plane, climbed up the tyre and knew where to stand sounds very ridiculous. Also, the mere fact that the boy had an idea of where to stand and was willing to take the risk was also more ridiculous. For me, conspiracy theory must have been true. The boy either never stowed away as was purported, or the stowaway was a serious "arrangy” move. The boy was seen a couple of days after on the cover page of one of the national dailies taking pictures with the State Governor of Edo state in new clothes and descent haircut. He looked completely different from the guy that was arrested a few days before. Anyway, the story passed and the boy now lives happily ever after.
This time in history, September 2013, I did a blog - "Love Me, Love My Dog". The blogged stemmed from a couple - Jordan Graham (22 years old wife) and Cody Johnson (25 year old husband). The wife - Jordan had pushed her husband off a 300ft cliff, face forward to his death at the Glacier National Glacier on September 11, 2013, 8 days after their wedding. The couple had been engaged in an argument that resulted in this mishap. I remember blogging about domestic violence and the tilt of power structures in homes, and also advised on what couples can do to reduce conflict in the homes. Especially in elite home like ours where the power structure seemed to be balanced with both couple having equal or so ability to "deal" with the spouse. Those three factors remain critical - the God Factor (How the acknowledgment of the active presence of the God Factor can help two strong people temper their relationship with mercy, knowing that they are both accountable to God), the Love factor (How that love is not just a feeling, but a decision. Feelings are fickle, and if marital love is based on feelings alone, then love will be fickle. But a decision to be a lover regardless, will grow a marriage and give it the winning edge) and the Discounting Factor (How that the wrongs you are willing to trivialize in your marriage relationship will determine the happiness of the relationship).
I decided to check up on the story of Jordan and Cody. Jordan made a guilty plea in December and has been sentenced to 30years in jail in April 2014. The judge said she did not show remorse for the pushing her husband to his death. She is currently appealing the sentence.
This time in history, September 2013, I started Salsa class and I blogged about it. I have always had an interest in the arts, especially dance. I have watched several movies on dance - Step Up 1 and 2, Dance With Me etc. I danced with a choreography group in church as a youngster till I left for the university, I have sung in the choir since I was 12. I started trying my hand on writing since secondary school and completed my first manuscript when I was barely 17 or so. I have done about 5 manuscripts since then, published over 7 editions of my magazine - Emerald, written about 30 blogs since Nov 2012, published my first book in December 2013,and will be going to the press for another book in October 2014. I have a goal to publish 6 books before I am 40.
That dance session has been over for a while now, but my love for dance and the arts as a whole - writing, singing, dancing is still unabated.
Now it's your turn, look at your diary and share what you were talking about one year ago.