자기 용서를위한 시간| The One with Theresa - Childhood, Interrupted : Episode 22 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Theresa

Warning: This episode contains messages that might be disturbing to some listeners – especially those who have experienced one form of child sexual abuse or the other.

This was easily the most difficult episode I have worked on this podcast. The prevalence of child sexual abuse is one that cannot be ignored (especially in a country like Nigeria with its burgeoning population and lax rules). Why? Because abused children grow up to become adults who may suffer from mental health issues ranging from substance abuse, personality disorders, conflict in romantic or interpersonal relationships, to eating disorders. Of all the things that can be done to you, rape is probably one of the worse because it is your body and you have to carry it along for the rest of your life; there is no escaping from it. Even when you try to physically escape from it, the body (and brain) always keep the score.

In this episode, I discussed these issues at length with a longtime friend and a lawyer – Theresa Odigie. As an author, Theresa uses her words to rescue people from grief, insecurities, or anything that poses as a stronghold in one's life. Follow her on Instagram as Theresa.odigie.

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다음 알베르트 슈바이처| The One with Soo - The South Korean-Sierra Leonean: Episode 21 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Soo

So, y’all know like how I am the first Nigerian-Korean you know, right?! Well, I am here to introduce you to the first Korean-African - Soo, or Joshua (you will get this reference once you listen) who speaks Pidgin English fluently. He’s as African at heart as I am Korean and as passionate about Sierra Leone as I am about Korea. The only difference is that I am yet to set foot in Korea.  I always describe my guests as amazing or wonderful; Soo is all these and much more and one of the spectacular 20-something year-olds I have met. Soo is Korean, born in England in 1995, but raised in Sierra Leone. His parents work as missionaries, and due to unforeseen conflicts and disasters, he has moved around quite a bit. For now, though, he is in Michigan, USA for his studies but hopes to go back abroad. In this episode, we talked about the duality of being African while looking Korean. The advantages of being a third culture person and how growing up in Africa is helping him excel in his studies. We also talked about first-world problems, African values, weighing wants vs. needs, and learning how to empathize with others who are not like us.

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블랙 판터| The One with Chinwe - On Social Justice and Christianity: Episode 20 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Chinwe

One of the arguments against mainstream social justice warriors (SJWs) is that they reject the concept of sin and hold the belief that humans are inherently good by nature. As a result, in the face of evil, the society is largely blamed instead of upholding individual personal responsibility. In this episode, I chatted with Chinwe Oriji, a scholar and a PhD candidate in African and African Diaspora studies, on whether Christians should be involved in social justice or even identify as social justice warriors (SJWs)? 

We also talked a bit about an article she wrote on Wakanda's Black Panther as a place that shows that post-independence Africans in and outside of African are not exempt from a diasporic reality of loss, longing, and resistance. We also explored the Biafra war and her identity as an American born to first generation Igbo immigrant.

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건강을 위해서| The One with Aayah - Let Food be Thy Medicine: Episode 19 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Aayah

Get ready to kiss dieting goodbye in this episode (Joshua Harris, anyone?). Aayah, an Egyptian-American who is now based in Seattle, is a holistic health coach, detox specialist, YouTube content creator, wife, and mother of two kids. Her journey into healthy eating was inspired by her health issues such as chronic fatigue, joint pain, mood and digestive issues.

In this episode, Aayah drew from both her personal and professional experiences on ways to eat clean and well on a budget, recipe substitution (this is important especially for immigrants), and maintaining an overall balanced lifestyle. We also talked about the elephant in the room (literally, me!) and my constant love-hate relationship with dieting and ways people like me can be more successful at mindful eating and maintaining a healthy weight.

Aayah’s parents are currently held political prisoners in Egypt. Her mom is the longest held female political prisoner in Egypt and in solitary confinement. See link below on how you can support and help them raise awareness on this.

PS: Aayah is currently running a promo for a mid-summer detox session and health coaching. To get a discount on her services, contact her directly letting her know you are one of the listeners of the show.

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법과 질서| The One with Mr. Olanipekun Esq. - Law and Order; Naija Version: Episode 18 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Mr. Olanipekun Esq.

In Nigeria, the Police might not be your friend (insert police jokes here), but there are some friendly faces who are working on reforming the criminal justice system, and I’d like for you to meet one of them. Here’s introducing Mr. Nelson Olanipekun Esq., a human rights lawyer and the team lead at Gavel. Gavel is a civic tech organization, which started in 2017 and aims to improve the pace of justice delivery through tech.

Gavel has reached millions of Nigerians with over 100 indigent Nigerians benefiting directly from it. They provide free legal support for inmates awaiting trials, victims of domestic violence, and a whole lot of other people. In this episode, we talked about the Nigerian justice system and ways to rebrand it, as well as police brutality amidst the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) pandemic. We explored the Nigerian prison system and its many challenges, chief of which are overcrowding and not following due processes. I also probed Mr. Olanipekun’s thoughts on whether SARS should be reformed or as scrapped as a whole?


PS: Years and years of watching legal dramas such as Suits, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, The Practice have finally paid off. See if you can get your own legalese on, like I did, with this new episode. Also, Gavel has this cool feature on their website where you can track cases of individuals who are awaiting trials; it has been used to track over 500 inmates – check it out here: http://gavel.ng/opened-cases


Fun facts about Mr. Olanipekun Esq.

  • He wrote a letter to the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) on enforcing the existing rules that have implications for ending police brutality. The SCN replied favorably. Wait what?!

  • He once sued the Government over the long detention of over 100 inmates who have been awaiting trial for over seven years.

  • He failed at his first start-up in 2014 but restarted in 2017.

  • He is, most certainly, not a lazy Nigerian youth.

  • If he didn’t study law, he would be a tech geek.


Takeaway Points:

  • Tips for entrepreneurs: learn from your mistakes and don’t give up when you fail.

  • Be more active citizens. Most Nigerians need to take more interest in governance.

  • Be your brother’s (and sister’s) keeper; If you see something, say something.

  • Lawyers can also volunteer and donate their time to help at the Gavel.

  • Donations are needed to reach more people and to continue to provide legal aid to indigents.

  • As at March 2018, 68% of the Nigerian prison population are awaiting trial. 

  • Avoid prison, especially the Nigerian kind, if you can.


Consider donating to Gavel to help their cause. Donations can be made here:

  • Local: Access Bank 0773466368, Citizens Gavel Nigeria

  • Dollar donations: Access Bank 0773502598 Domiciliary Account Citizens Gavel Nigeria

  • Online donations: rave.flutterwave.com/pay/citizensgavelnigeriagv8z


Additional Resources:

Legally Yours,

모 /Mo!/

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저는 아직도 믿는다| The One with Kelechi - Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Episode 17 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Kelechi

I lost my faith once when I went through a phase of existential crisis that spanned almost a whole year; I wrote about it here - https://goo.gl/NCf1A2. I look back at that period with gratitude as it made my faith stronger and my relationship deeper with Christ. In this episode, I ‘sat’ down with one of my dear friends – Kelechi – who is on the other end of the spectrum, searching for meaning and questioning his faith.  We talked about crisis of faith and the roles the church and our culture play in this. Kelechi is a Nigerian who has lived in Canada for a major chunk of his life.

 

PS: His favorite word seems to be “absolutely.” If you can correctly guess how many times he used this word in this episode, you get a chance to recommend a topic we can explore on the show.

 

Fun facts about Kelechi

  • He is a continent drifter since he has visited less than ten countries. With the exception of Antarctica and Australia, he has visited every continent on earth

  • He studied pharmacy briefly then got a degree in biochemistry and is now in school wrapping up his MBA

  • He is very single (*wink wink* ladies)

 

Takeaway Points:

  • Not all who wander are lost; be kind to those who have left the faith

  • All your friends don’t always have to be people you agree with all the time. You can disagree with someone and still respect them

  • Christianity has a lot of space for questioning and asking those tough questions does not reduce the quality of your faith

  • Embrace your crisis of faith tightly; it could make your faith stronger

 

Recommended Song:

“Dare You to Move” – Switchfoot (2004)

 

Cited books:

  • Lewis, Clive Staples (1940). The Problem of Pain. The Centenary Press

  • Lewis, Clive Staples (1961). A Grief Observed. Faber and Faber

  • Bryson, Bill. (2001). In a Sunburned Country. Doubleday Publishers

  • Bryson, Bill. (2010). At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Doubleday Publishers

 

Yours Faithfully,

모 /Mo!/

 

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미래 대사님| The One with Alex- Future United Nations Ambassador: Episode 16 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Alex

Meet Alex: Alex grew up in Trujillo, Peru and is one of the amazing 20 year-olds I have ever come in contact with. He was an exchange student here in Oklahoma, and in this episode, we explored what growing up in Peru was like, his triumphs and regrets as an exchange student in the US, and his future ambitions.

According to Alex:

"I come from a multicultural family; being Latin, Hispanic, and Peruvian is such a blessing to me. Peru is such a multicultural place; we got so many influences around the world. We pretty much are still in the shadow of the Inca Empire. We were a Spanish colony for so long. If you wanna eat, visit Peru; if you wanna experience culture, visit Peru. In addition to visiting Machu Picchu, there are many other beautiful places to visit. Peruvians are warm and friendly, and the country is also very inviting. If I could choose one thing I love about Peru, it would have to be the food."

 On why he is interested in international affairs and diplomacy, Alex had this to say:

“I do believe that together, we can achieve a lot. Sometimes, when we do not get involved with other people (from other countries), we see more differences than similarities. We are in an era of globalization, every culture must contribute something."

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우리 사이의 역사| The One with Andrea - The Spanish-speaking Southern Belle: Episode 15 (2018)

Hola amigos! Can you say Spanish-speaking Southern Belle three times without blabbing? I didn’t think so. Also, would you ever consider going back to school to learn a new language to help the people you serve? In this episode, I explored Andrea’s story and her love for the Spanish language, history, and travels. I also talked a bit about growing up in Nigeria during the restrictive, military regime. Andrea hopes to visit Ghana first, and I gave her the best tip ever – avoid the jollof rice there :-D.

We also explored her relationship with Africans and what she thinks of us. I am also seeking business partners for what I think would be a very profitable business for Africans and African Americans. It has to do with cultural exchange. Email me on talktomo@mosibyl.com, if interested.

PS: I spoke a bit of Spanish as well.

Fun facts about Andrea:

  • She is wanderlust like me and has visited six countries (one of which was Cuba #jealous).

  • She holds two bachelor’s degree.

  • She loves the Lord.

Takeaway points:

  • If you are in Ohio, consider getting the #Skyline chili.

  • Tips on how to avoid getting deleted as a Facebook friend.

  • Teach African-Americans about the African culture.

  • Africans and African-Americans need to learn to be more culturally patient with one another.

  • Why we need to visit Cuba ASAP

Con amor de,

모 /Mo/

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사랑하는 아버님께서| The One with Dad - Daddy, Dearest: Episode 14 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Happily Presents:

This is probably the most important podcast episode I have done yet. For those who might not know, I had a somewhat turbulent relationship with my father based on how I felt he was like to me as a kid. As a result, we never really talked and there was a distance between us.

In this episode, I present to you the man who is perhaps one of the most important people to Mo! This episode also happens to be the lengthiest conversation I have ever had with my dad and I feel very honored to share this intimate side of me with you.

PS: The history is very strong with this episode.

PPS: Perhaps the most disappointing thing about dad is his chronic unending love for Arsenal


Takeaway points:

  • Remind your parents to get their yearly health checkup done.

  • The path to reconciliation might be a difficult process but it is often worth the troubles.


Recommended Song:

Daddy's Home (feat. Hailey Kiteley) by Travis Greene


Well, enjoy then. And Happy Father’s Day, I guess.

Love,

모 /Mo/


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함께 해보자| The One with Mark - Not Too Young to Run: Episode 13 (2018)

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents:

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian president, passed the “Not-too-young-to-run Act” into Law, thereby reducing the age qualification for certain elective offices created by the Nigerian constitution. The age qualification for president was reduced from 40 to 35 years. This effort was spearheaded by the wonderful folks at the Not Too Young to Run (NTYTR) Movement.

Thanks to the one degree of separation between us, I was able to bring one of those wonderful folks (Mr. Mark Amaza) behind the NTYTR movement on the show. In this episode, Mark and I talked a lot about this campaign and he was gracious enough to answer all the questions I presented before him. As a late bloomer to all things politics, I must say that I learned a lot from this episode and I hope this will be the same for you too.

Outro-ish Song: This is Nigeria by Falz; the original song was by Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino


Fun fact about Mark:

  • He is a certified Bibliophile and one of his many love languages is Amazon Gift cards *hint hint*

  • He has an idyllic memory to recall countries and their capitals.

  • He speaks the Bura language which is spoken mainly in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states in Nigeria. The Bura language is a Chadic language and has been reported to contrast a voiceless palatal lateral fricative, [] (ʎ̥˔), which is quite rare for languages.


TL; DL:

  • Get more involved in politics or governance, at the least.

  • When voting, focus on the hows from aspirants; don’t just fall for the empty promises

  • Download the Nigerian Constitution online for free

  • Mechanisms like the “Ready to Run Movement” can help you run a better campaign. They can provide you with resources (not money to help you get started)

  • Get your PVC (permanent voter’s card) today

  • Run a better campaign

  • You, as an electorate, have power in your hands; use it wisely.

The More Sibyl Podcast is now available on Stitcher. Can you kindly help leave a review on Stitcher? Link: http://bit.do/helpmo


Resources

  • Not Too Young to Run Campaign: http://nottooyoungtorun.org/

  • BudgIT Nigeria: www.yourbudgit.com; @BudgITng

  • Ready to Run Campaign: readytorunng.org​​​​​​​

  • Follow Mark on Twitter on @amasonic and Mark Amaza on Facebook

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여자의 일생| The One with Ada - The Life of a Woman: Episode 12 (2018)

Here’s introducing my friend, Ada – one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met, who served in the US military. We explored her story from growing up in Nigeria, moving to the US, being drafted into the army, getting married, surviving an eventful divorce, raising multicultural kids, and life as a single mom.

We explored divorce in a cultural context (stigma, shame, losing friends, etc.) and what we can do to support divorcees around us (and it is not by choosing sides or totally avoiding them like a plague). We also talked about PTSD, mental health, and ways to self-care - post-divorce.

Outro-ish Song: *Don’t Let Us Get Sick* by Pat Guadagno; the original song was by Warren Zevon

Fun fact about Ada: She backpacked across Europe.


PS: To all the veterans like Ada, thank you for your service.


TL; DL:

How to Thrive after a Divorce:

  • Choose your battles

  • Stay alive

  • Do not rush into any kind of relationship (except with Ben and Jerry’s Ice-cream and chocolates, of course :-D)

  • Take your time to open up

  • Be vulnerable but not enough to allow reopening of old, healed wounds

  • Don’t waste yesterday’s tears on today

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다왔어| The One with Mo!+Olabimpe [Hot Seat Edition 2] - "I Came, I Saw, I Podcast:" Episode 11 (2018)

Nigeria: A $hithole Country?¿! Nah, it’s not but how else was I supposed to get your attention, ey? Hehe.

It’s no news that Mo! is back from Nigeria. In this episode, I answered several questions that were sent in from my listeners and friends regarding my just-concluded trip to Nigeria. We talked about everything ranging from food, social issues, traffic, politics, music, getting detained by the cops, why I won’t be moving back home just yet, getting high (on not what you think), how I evaded prying questions from my well-meaning countrymen and countrywomen, what I loved and disliked about my trip, and so much more. Thank you to every one of you who sent in the questions; you made this episode rock!

Outro-ish song: Ire by Adekunle Gold. This song has been my current earworm.

PS: This is a long episode, but I think you will love the dynamic between Olabimpe and me.

PPS: My friends call me Tolani too (Olabimpe called me this all through the episode); it’s from my full name Mo-Tolani.

PPPS: As a thank-you favor to Olabimpe, I am asking this for her. Does anyone know anyone who knows anyone who knows Lynxxx – the Nigerian rapper/singer? She would love to get his attention as she’s one of his biggest fans. #Askingforafriend


TL; DL:

Food I liked: Native rice and fish 😊

Foods I could not eat: Street roasted plantains (boli) ☹

On environmental pollution in Lagos: “Let’s forget about saving the whales and the trees. We need to start saving ourselves.”

The highlight of going back home: I was not Black anymore but your average Nigerian (Yoruba) girl.

The best thing about Nigeria: Nigerians - the love, the intentionality, the warmth, no Dutch pay.

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마음이 아플 때| The One with Som Ghosh - On Grief and Loss: Episode 10 (2018)

Last week, I took you on a trip to India with an interview with Dr. Shah. I decided to stay longer in India to bring you this week’s episode from another Indian. Losing one parent is hard enough but imagine losing both of your parents, and in addition to this monumental grief, having to cope with the guilt of being thousands of miles away from home when this happens.

In this episode, I speak to Som Ghosh – a Tabla-playing Indian living in America on grief observed. We talked about how grief is handled by Hindus and how certain burial rites performed by Hindus might make coping with grief better, and how he has been coping with losing both parents. I also talked about a personal grief and how I was able to (and still) cope with this. We begin his story from why he decided to leave his job at Pfizer and head on to pursue a PhD in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and tips for those considering going back to school after working for a while.

How to cope with grief, as surmised by Som and me (in no particular order):

  • Let grief run its course.

  • Take time to mourn the loss.

  • Cry if you must.

  • Label the emotions as they come, anger, sadness, pain, anguish.

  • Remember that emotions are like messengers, we do not shoot them. Listen to the gifts they bear and afterwards, send them on their journey  in a nice way, knowing fully well that they might come back again.

  • Find someone you can trust to talk to about your grief. And if you cannot find someone, just like Tennessee Williams suggested, depend on the kindness of strangers who are usually obliagted to listen to you.

  • Seek grief counseling or therapy.

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인도 의사| The One with Dr. Sanket Shah - Doctor, Doctor : Episode 9 (2018)

For this week’s episode, I talked to one of my favorite Indians and wonderful colleague - Dr. Sanket Shah, a medical doctor currently doing his PhD in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) (a rarity for most MDs pursuing advanced degrees in the US) at my alma mater – The University of Texas at Austin.

We talked about and contrasted medical practice, culture, and education in India and the US. On graduate school in the US: imposter/impostor syndrome, expectational pressure, how not to quit, and using fear as a motivational tool. We also provided arguments for why foreign international students need to build positive social support systems to improve mental health, why I think Indians are different from Nigerians in certain aspects, and how both cultures can learn from each other. It was also my first time introducing the concept of cultural curiosity – where I ask my guests to ask me anything they are curious about regarding Nigeria.

Fun fact: Dr. Shah is still reeling from the shock of having dollar bills rained on him at a Nigerian colleague’s wedding dance presentation we all did in 2016. He wanted to know more about what ‘making it rain’ was all about. S/O to Chisom Chimah who was the bride at the said-wedding.

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내 청소년| The One with Adenike - The Nigerian Youth: Episode 8 (2018)

Adenike had this to say about voting:

“More than half of those who voted for the over 170 million votes for BBN are not registered to vote in the next presidential election. Nigerians don’t even know the importance of voting and I understand that we say “oh, well my vote might not count,” that is the lie we have been telling ourselves. When it is going to count, no one is going to tell you. And until you start doing your own part, you cannot even complain of not getting the best infrastructure. It is your least civic duty. Even though you didn’t vote, by not voting, you voted for the winner.”

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나는 고향으로 돌아가고 싶다| The One with Bill - African-American + 7% Nigerian: Episode 5 Part 2 (2018)

According to Bill James:

  • "We can’t just be Black as African-Americans, we are Black from the Caribbean, we are Black from everywhere."

  • There’s a cultural difference between Africans and African-Americans and it is not necessarily based on specific characteristics, it has more do with educational level.

  • At some point, it would be really nice if we all had a chance to sit down together and talk about ourselves and maybe we can then find some common ground.

  • The American immigration system handpicks the best of the best and that includes Africans. As a result, most African Americans do not come in contact with Africans based on their social level and we do not run in the same social circles.

 

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우리는 아프리카 인입니다| The One with Bola - Just Between Africans and African Americans: Episode 4 Part 2 (2018)

January 16: Bola A

 Somehow I have managed to enrage a small community of African Americans, all due to a structureless, baseless notion that Africans hate African Americans (not true). Who comes up with all these misconceptions anyway?? It is quite sad to accept the misguidance and the reverse-engineered mentality some have. Why the sensitivity and division? Africans have a rigid culture worn like a badge of honor. Failing to embrace or assimilate to a certain culture isn't necessarily hate, and while most African elders disapprove of certain western behaviors, most of us ( younger generation)still try to assimilate and get smacked for it (😂😂). To the African, respect and honor go hand in hand. Everything you do in this world, is reflective of your household; therefore you are expected to BEHAVE (which some translated as trying to be "white" I detest that statement so much).

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