Saturday, 27 December 2014

How Can Girls Touch Lives at Christmas? - By Onyebuchi Amalia Odeigah

When I heard the title, I was a bit dazed. I was torn between it being too simple and yet too complex an essay to write, after all I could simply write "sharing gifts, visiting the orphanage, sharing food, basically spreading the love bug to everyone, etc." and yet have to explain the process of doing those and why being a girl makes those actions twice as fantastic to being a boy. (See, I told you it was complex.) But then it hit me, LOVE, what better place for it to start than home? SELF LOVE.

For the most part of the year, I have struggled with so many insecurities ranging from academics, to relationships, my faith, my weight and physical appearance and if or whether not the people in my life were pleased, so they would always stay. In doing all of this, I lost me. The girl inside kept begging to come out, but no, no one likes a fat girl, so I hid me even more just so no one notices the "fat girl". A few weeks ago when I was returning from lectures, I sat close to this old man (God bless his soul), he was my turning point. His frame was thin and frail, like his best years were behind him. We rode in a "keke". When it was time for him to stop, he brought out a really torn 50naira note; he said that was all he had. Trust Lagos drivers, he started shouting at him, calling him all sort of names. The old man pleaded with him but he didn't listen and kept on shouting. I could not take it anymore and opted to pay for the old man. I think he was surprised, he took my hands and prayed for me. At that point, I was humbled and close to tears.

Asides the old man, there were three other people in that "keke". They went on about how what if the old man was lying, and how you just don't help people the way I just did the old man. I smiled and a single tear rolled down my cheek. The truth is, I might be twenty now, but I would not always be twenty, I will age too, and I don't want to think back and discover I wasted my life being what everyone else wanted me to be, everyone, but me. Yes, that went through my mind, but in that very moment while paying the old man's fare, my most prominent thought was my father in faraway Jos, Plateau state. Believe it or not, karma exists, what you give always finds its way back to you. So as I paid his fare, I prayed somehow, someone would help my parents where I failed to. It was a silent prayer, but a powerful one.
So you want to touch a life this Christmas? Here's a suggestion, start with yours, remember, a woman builds a nation.

Amalia is a 20 year old 3rd year student at the College of Medicine - University of Lagos. She hopes to specialize in Cardiovascular Surgery or Community Health after her medical education. Her favourite food is Noodles & Chicken, and her favourite colour - pink. Her philosophy of life is "Karma is Real...what you give you get." Her above essay clinched 4th place in the Girl Pride Circle Christmas Essay Competition.

She has won a couple of writing contests, including one in which she was opportune to meet the veteran writer - Chimamanda Adichie. She writes with four other friends at  


  1. Nice write up, will like to know if she really writes at www. written whispers. com?

    1. Hello Chioma! Thanks for commenting :)

      So it turns out that I mis-spelt the url. Along with other friends, Amalia writes at

      Sorry for the error :( Cheers!