of 13 /13
...NOT IN THISDAY STYLE? THEN YOU’RE NOT IN STYLE SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2021 Don’t share! If your phone is lost or stolen, dial *901*911# from any phone to deactivate your USSD profile and prevent fraud on your account. Call us immediately on 01-2712005 to report any suspicious phone call, SMS or email. #BanksDontAsk Your banking information too personal to be shared with anyone. banks d n’t ask MARIA OLATEJU PHILLIPS INSURING YOUR FUTURE

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of TEJU PHILLIPS

S T I L L S T A N D I N G !
... N
Don’t share!
If your phone is lost or stolen, dial *901*911# from any phone to deactivate your USSD profile and prevent fraud on your account.
Call us immediately on 01-2712005 to report any suspicious phone call, SMS or email.
Your banking information too personal to be shared with anyone.banks
d n’t ask
If your phone is lost or stolen, dial *901*911# from any phone to deactivate your USSD profile and prevent fraud on your account.
Call us immediately on 01-2712005 to report any suspicious phone call, SMS or email.
Your banking information is too personal to be shared with anyone.
In an era where women of great wit and intelligence have emerged in different fields of endeavours across the world, managing leading, orchestrating and making vital decisions is not just exclusive to men. In Africa and indeed Nigeria, such women have risen in diverse sectors. Maria Olateju Philips (nee Fernandez) is making waves. In this encounter which is truly enthralling, Maria talks to AZUKA OGUJIUBA about politics, family support, career, the hopes of Nigerian women among other important things.
With the recent catastrophe that took place a few days ago where a 21 storey building collapsed like a pack of cards killing several people, there
is no time as important as now to ensure our lives and everything else around it is well insured. One cannot begin to imagine the anguish of the families of the lost souls not to talk of the financial loses of investors in the property. I don’t know how well insured their investment is but this is a wake up call for everyone to get back to the drawing board and secure their future with Insurance.
Our cover personality is Maria Olateju Phillips, the Chairman of Lasaco Insurance who gives a deep insight into the need to ensure our future is
well catered for. I have seen many families go down the drain because they did not prepare for their future. We do not have to get to death’s door before
we acknowledge the need for it’s preparation. This is an area that should be given the seriousness it deserves. Yes, people do not like to discuss Insurance because it
is a reminder of their mortality. They do not like to discuss their wills or the need to put things in place for the same reason. We have seen what has happened to some families because of this.
The same way we have to be serious about certain things in life, we should also not forget to embrace the fun things. The things that make us laugh, smile or feel good. They might be big or small, but they hit the right note within you. They might not be conventional and at times too outrageous for some, but it makes you happy and as long as it is not detrimental to your health and those around you, do you! One thing l know for sure that radiates fun and freedom of expression are ripped jeans. In LET’S GO RIPPED, there’s no better way to express this freedom. So find a balance. Play it up. Play it down. Always remember to do your own thing the way it suits you best.
FASHION DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE EDITOR Instagram: @thisdaystyle | Twitter: @thisdaystyleon | Instagram: @thisdaystyle | Website: www.thisdaystyle.ng
LIFE For the love of
Reddington Hospital Commissions New
Hospital Recently In Lagos, The Reddington Hospitals group added a new hospital facility, “The Duchess International Hospital”, to its chains of Hospitals in Nigeria. The new hospital, located in the Ikeja environs, was commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo. The commissioning was witnessed by The Governor of Lagos and Ogun State Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dapo Abiodun amidst many other captains of industries. The newly commissioned hospital is a 100- bed, fully ensuite hospital facility offering primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services across a range of specialist and sub-speciality. It is one of Nigeria’s largest multi-speciality privately-owned hospitals, with a full range of products for improved healthcare. The hospital also aims to reverse the high trend of medical tourism in Nigeria and offer affordable health care to all who walks through its doors.
BY F U N K E B A B S - K U F E J I
Recently the management of Ecobank Nigeria opened their new headquarters in Lagos, the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC).
The Iconic edifice, which stands proudly on Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, was commissioned by His Excellency Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Speaking at the event, he expressed excitement over the state-of-the-art facilities at the complex, noting that “This Pan African centre is indeed an intelligent building designed with energy efficiency and is one of the things we need in Nigeria. I know that this building will speak to a lot of the very best. It is a state-of-the-art building focused on environmental sustainability, and I am sure that from what I have seen around, it is a redefining building and infrastructural development.”
Alongside the Chief host, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, also in attendance was the Chairman, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Alain Nkontchou; Former Chairman, ETI, Emmanuel Ikazoboh; Group Chief Executive Officer, ETI, Ade Ayeyemi; Chairman, Ecobank Nigeria, Bola Adesola; Managing Director, Brittania- U Limited, Uju Ifejika; Former Chairman, Ecobank Nigeria, John Odeyemi amongst other dignitaries and bank executives.
The Grand Commissioning of Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) in Lagos
We all know it is a good idea to purge your wardrobe every now and again to make room for new pieces. Anything you haven’t worn in 6 to 12 months, you might actually
never wear again, and it’s a good idea to give it out. But there are some pieces in your wardrobe you should never
do away with unless they are too small, which means you will be replacing them immediate- ly in your right size. If you are still wonder- ing what pieces to keep while purging your wardrobe, here are 5 top items in our wardrobe we think are keepers.
Sneakers are the shoe equivalent to a white T-shirt
(aka a necessity). They go with everything, are ultra-comfort- able, and truly never go out of style. The only reason to toss
a pair of white sneakers is that you bought a new
Blazers are the ultimate go-to
piece. Not only are they polished, but they’re also one of those pieces that make even the
basics jeans-and–a-T-shirt outfit look cool. While they get updated now and again but the most basic style
never actually goes out of style. So they are a keeper in our
Skinny Jeans
Another trend that goes in and out of popularity but never
disappears is the classic skinny jeans. The perfect pair of skinny will take
you from day to night in a flash. Pair them with a voluminous top for a night out or a pair of t-shirts for a
casual daytime look.
are basically weather-proof, as rain spots and mud barely
show up against the dark hue.
White/ Black T-Shirt
A t-shirt is the basic necessity of every wardrobe. You can pair them with every and anything.
Always make sure you don’t give out your t-shirts because they will save
you one day. Even the old ones come in handy as a camisole
or can be layered under something.
10 11
S T Y L E & D E S I G N S T Y L E & D E S I G NTHISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
THISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
LIFEFor the love of
1 3
In an era where women of great wit and intelligence have emerged in different fields of endeavours across the world, managing, leading, orchestrating and making vital decisions are not exclusive to men.
In Africa and indeed Nigeria, such women have risen in diverse sectors. Maria Olateju Philips (nee Fer- nandez) is making waves. As Chairman of Lasaco Assurance Plc, her leadership has helped companies and agencies (both private and public) build better prepositions and become more proactive. Her initiatives have made an enormous difference in the workplace. Also, Philips’ political involvement and relevance have further strengthened women’s voice and place in today’s world.
In this enthralling encounter, Maria talks to AZUKA OGUJIUBA about politics, family support, career, the hopes of Nigerian women, among other important things. She continually keeps up with what she is known for inspiration and hope for the younger generation of women seeking to make a difference in Nige- ria and beyond.
Ph ot
og ra
ph y:
With your vast educational experience in the western world (Aston University at Birmingham and Huddersfield college etc.), would you say the education sector in Nigeria is well-positioned for global relevance?
The educated Nigerian is very intelligent and prov- en to have excelled in virtually all professions globally. But critically and urgently, the education sector in our country needs to be focused upon and developed by injection of high capital to achieve better quality which will be comparatively at par with the Western world. The long and short of it, irrespective of being a developing country, the best, is to thoroughly invest in the education of the youths for future develop- ment.
With so much to do professionally, how do you combine your role as a mother in addition to man- aging your family?
A Professional or a Career woman has to be very focused and highly organized in both home and work affairs. The two must tie in terms of occupation and implementation of responsibilities. The ability to manage both ends successfully must be consciously discerned; one should not suffer for the other. Though it can be quite tasking, I did it, and I’m still doing it, thank God. On the home front, get involved in every aspect and at work. There are no shortcuts but work assiduously hard to excel and maintain the package of brilliancy, teamwork and best behaviours amongst your peers and subordinate.
As a career woman, it could be a hindrance if you don’t have a supportive husband; tell us, how sup- portive is your husband?
I am Grateful I got the support of my husband all the way. The ideology is to create trust in each other, and if that is missing, it will be tough to be successful. My husband doesn’t bother me with my career. He encourages me, checks up on me with the work I’m doing by discussing, and it ends there. Sometimes he makes me see the other side of the coin, and he gives me a free hand, and I operate peacefully.
Where do you draw your strength and energy from?
I draw my strength from the passion and dream I have on whatever I’m doing. I usually have innate de- sire built upon ultimate strength, energy, perception, vision, dedication and commitment for actualization. I have been able to do the things I love to do, and I try to do them very well with perfections. This is the drive for me.
Which achievement has given you the most satis- faction and why?
First and foremost, becoming the Chairman of Lasaco Assurance Plc. As an Accountant, it is expected of me to ensure the organization is run with a proper system according to today’s accounting standards and practices. The main drive is the company’s growth, to be one of the top five Insurance companies in the country and ultimately, number one in the near future.
Do you believe having women in political leader-
ship provides a different kind of voice? Yes affirmatively, today’s world believes in the
woman’s leadership because of her loyalty, dedication to her work, and political party. She upholds her integ- rity firmly. She is also seen as an advocate for Gender Equality (50:50), not even the constitutional 30%.
Having more women in political leadership is the voice and the song we are singing now. We are still struggling in this part of the world, but we will not re- lent all efforts through so many organizations, NGOs, etc. The challenge is that some male leaders are still chauvinistic; there is a need for change.
What legacy do you want to leave behind? This message is for everyone and posterity; please
create a good conscience for everything you do; there is no shortcut to success but hard work. Be consistent, and don’t give up on your dreams. Be your brother’s keeper and consciously be there for the other woman. Above all, fear God.
Also, I want to be remembered as a simple and pas- sionate Lagosian, hardworking, blunt, courageous and never relent.
From your Articleship days, you have worked in several firms. What were your greatest challenges, and how did you learn to overcome them?
The Accounting Profession I chose put me in an environment with a higher percentage of men than women, and it is challenging having worked in such organizations. So to excel over the men, you must double up your performance.
The challenges are the typical criticisms, unfounded rumours, and uncountable environmental slander- ous talks, but once you are focused, the rest is his- tory. There is also the challenge to emerge at the top; again, with patience, I have been able to crawl to where I am, and I look forward to more opportunities to serve the people.
You started your career in Nigeria at UAC Nigeria Plc as a Divisional Commercial Manager of the company’s property division. Having spent several years overseas, how did you adapt to the working
environment in Nigeria? I am very proud to say I love Nigeria. My early years
were in the Western Region, then Ibadan and Oyo. Those were my formative years that I sincerely cher- ished. I don’t think there was any major problem in adaptation. What would have been a challenge, I sur- mounted from ab initio! I realized a female boss must be very cordial to male subordinates and even other bosses and peers.
I try to be at best behaviour to get the job done to achieve the company’s goals. We are family and friends to date; that’s the beauty of all the places I have worked.
Describe one of the most powerful moments you have experienced as a female politician.
I must confess that I naturally have the flair of hav- ing and being around people. I enjoy all that pertains to this, coupled with the fact that I’m a free mixer. The opportunity to serve in the government of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu opened these doors for me and brought out the best virtues in me. This is completely different from the Professional experience. I thrived, blended and thoroughly served with satisfaction and contentment from 1999 as a board member in various capacities and now the Chairman of Lasaco Assurance Plc.
Before being appointed as a Board Chairman by Lasaco Assurance Plc, your pedigree and success were witnessed at several other financial estab- lishments in the country, from Keystone Bank to Lagos State Lottery Board, to mention a few. So what should be expected from you with this new role?
As a female Chairman, I want to change the orienta- tion in Lasaco Assurance Plc as a strictly male affair in the board and executive management.
I am already advocating for female inclusion at the top and other allied matters involving female staff.
Branding the organization to top-notch height will be more encouraging for the viability of results that it brings. Lastly, health insurance products which are lacking in the country will be commenced seriously from our end.
With a busy schedule like yours, how do you relax, and what do you most enjoy doing while doing so?
Because I am a people’s person; I definitely have enough time to relax; I love being around people. Even when we are laughing together, we can still improvise in solving situations, dining and winning together. I am a great lover of music, I dance, I sing, and I am full of all coats, and I also read. These are the things I do, and I still make time for my grandchildren. So I do relax the thorough way a busy person should do.
My favourite spot in the world is London, and it’s because I studied in the UK. On the days that I don’t go around during holidays, I love to stay quietly where I reside, go to the park, take my tea or ice cream, read my magazine, and unlike before that I have to do a lot of window shopping on what to wear, I now spend more time on my body. I relax, I do my massage, I go to the face and body clinic. I don’t mind the weather, whether cold or hot; I like to be away for some time
Having more women in political leadership is the voice and the song
we are singing now. We are still struggling in this part of the world
but we will not relent all efforts through so many organization, N.G.O, etc. The challenge is that
some male leaders are still chauvinistic in nature, there is
need for change.
14 15
THISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
THISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
and reflect on life to see how I can forge ahead in a better way.
What is your perspective on insur- ance and the industry in Nigeria?
The awareness of insurance in Ni- geria is improving, and we are trying to grow the industry so that everyone will see the risk they are taking over their lives and properties.
The ordinary person does not see the need for insurance. Some busi- nessmen and women do not see why they should take insurance over their activities, and they believe nothing can happen, false illusion, though.
I have noticed that in today’s set- ting, the middle-class people we find are actually taking risks and insuring the risk. This will hopefully be passed on to the future generation, which are the youths.
The youths these days don’t feel the need and are not bothered about insurance, which is our target market now.
People must always insure, unless you insure your life, assets, and prop- erties, you may find yourself back to square one when accidents happen. I always advise that even over little assets, insure and I hope this is a good sound of warning about one’s life.
The industry is growing fast, and I am proud to say that the Nigeria Insurance Commission is putting the industry together to enable actual growth and a good capital base. For now, there is a re-capitalization which sets me to remember the days when the Bank Industry was growing, the capital base required statutorily kept on increasing, and now we have solid banks in the country. I believe that is what is going to happen in the Insurance Industry. We now have more dynamic businesses or business- men in the Finance industry coming into the Insurance industry, but the competition is also very good. At the end of the day, production will improve. This is the kind of economy we want to grow in the country, so I am happy that this kind of thing is happening now. To me, re-capitalization is good but must be taken fairly at a stride.
What should people know about Lasaco Assurance and the insurance as a whole?
Lasaco Assurance Plc is a composite company; it is doing its business reputationally, meets claims at the earliest time possible, and forging on in the industry to be the best. If you take the #endsars as an example, claims came, and the company paid immediately. This is the sort of reputation earned by Lasaco Assurance Plc. Growing, meeting up with the statutory regula- tion requirements, we hope to be one of the top five insurance companies in Nigeria. I believe that Lasaco Assurance Plc is going places, and our next leg of growth will be to have international branches.
Are there issues around women’s political leader- ship that concern you?
Women around the world are still struggling to be highly relevant, and this concerns every top female politician, but the stage is getting better, we are being noticed, we are being informed, we are being chosen in rightful positions, and the concern is to have female Governors and female Presidents. That’s when we will know the gender issue in politics is being addressed.
You are the daughter of the late Ambassador Chief Antonio’ Dehinde Fernandez (His Imperial High- ness, Garsan Fulani and Princess Ibilola Lipede of the Royal Ruling House in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Can you describe your childhood and your parents’ impact on your growth and life generally?
To start with, I want to thank my parents for the ex- posure they gave me from childhood. I have been an independent child and an independent child from a very early age. I have been in boarding school from a young age, and I come home sometimes on holidays, so I am used to an environment where people study and you have the opportunity to develop yourself apart from being given discipline in life from a very
young age. From primary to secondary school to university to coming home after I got qualified was a period of tutelage that shaped me to be who I am today. I do things on impulse, and some- times it looks as if one is not a conformist, well it is only an impulse that develops into an individual with her own style, and that is what it has been for me. I grew up in the West before I travelled abroad. I came back and worked in Lagos state. My parents, from an early age, impacted the passion from their linages on me. I am very passionate about where I am from and my parents’ royal background. My dad was from Olumegbon, my mother from Lipede. Despite all that and the affluence, I’m still myself, an individ- ual that believes in self-development. So irrespective of my parents’ background, I remain myself.
My father was a philanthropist; I think I got that from him. My mother was a simple, beautiful woman and quiet, but I am not quiet. They both loved people around them, and they were entertain- ers, of which I am. My father was a disci- plinarian, and my mother was a fantastic cook. A mixture of all these virtues, I can see in me, and I thank God.
You are always beaming, which greatly compliments your looks. What is your beauty secret?
My father was very handsome, my mother was very beautiful, and l am a good combination of them. I learnt from an early age that whether you are beautiful or ugly, you must look after your body, and that’s what informed me to concentrate on keeping the looks and improving on it from time to time. As I said, it just didn’t happen; I worked on it, I am steaming, doing the body mas- sage, my oil, my moisturizer, I do a bit of toning if necessary, and I don’t joke with the heat therapy and a bit of exercise. That is what keeps me looking good. I also watch what I eat, take my vitamins, and get the best treatments for my body.
That’s the secret.
What are your hopes and aspirations for women in politics?
For the younger ones, please see political involve- ment as a service, do it with good conscience and be kind to people. On top of it, you must not compro- mise your integrity in any form. Being a woman in the stage, we are in the country, be prepared for all sorts of ugly comments, but remain focused and do your best. The sky is the limit, and I see the light. Prepare your mind and have the dream that you will be there, but it takes a lot of hard work. We are a developing country; you must contribute your quota devotedly and ensure that it’s not just for the gains from it. It is to develop the people, develop the country for the people, you are there for the people, and definitely, we will reach the ultimate.
My hope is that more women will get involved and lend their voices; we mustn’t sit back. We need to be on stage, get involved at all times. My aspiration for women is to be in the highest position in the shortest time in the future.
Given your success and growth on all fronts as a woman, what advice would you give to the young- er generation of young ladies who look up to you?
It is good to be educated. But educated or not, please manage your home and your aspirations prop- erly, see each one as a project to be completed and do
People must always insure, unless you insure your life, assets and
properties, when accidents happen, you may find yourself back to
square one. I always advice that even over little assets, just insure and I hope this is a good sound of
warning about one’s life.
3RD 2021
THISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021C O V E R
LOOKSto steal This new month will be high on
fashion and style as we’ve spotted celebrities going bolder with their style, and social media platforms are turning
more eyes on their showstopping looks.With different events happening regularly, celebs are making an effort to stand out with their updated styles. Here’s is a list of celebrities best looks
from the past weeks
EMMANUEL UMOH Emmanuel has mastered the contemporary look to the T, and he knows this too. While not everyone can pull off this look, there’s nothing wrong with switching up your style now and again. A very sleek and fun look to play around with on a very relaxed day hanging out with friends or shopping.
INI EDO Ini nails cute and functional like nobody else. This actress is a true IT girl and she follows her idea of fashion.
IDIA ASIEN She stole the show at Moet Chandon in this daring outfit, and everybody paid attention. Her style may not be for everybody, but it’s definitely eye-catching; it screams “bold, sassy and sexy”.
TACHA Tacha’s style is ultra-glam, and she isn’t
afraid to show off her sexy curves. Think form-fitted, cutouts, mini, and the lot, and
you have a winning Tacha outfit.
CHIOMA IKOKWU Chioma is renowned for her daring, innovative outfits. She is anything but boring with her style, and we love her for it.
INIDIMA OKOJIE Inidima has an easy-going fashion attitude, yet she always looks groomed and feminine without overdoing it. Well done, girl.
JEREMIAH OGBODO No one has more fun getting dressed than Swanky, and he always manages to give us showstopping looks all the time. It It isn’t easy to rock culottes and a choker, yet Swanky makes it look like a natural pairing.
AKIN FAMINU Akin’s style is very polished and dapper. He combines inch-perfect tailoring with statements touches that wouldn’t look out of place in his wardrobe.
REBECCA NENGI Nengi nails it with her classic yet cool style. She may not be the most experimental, but she knows what suits her, a true sign of a safe fashion girl.
LILIAN AFEGBAI Less can be more, but sometimes a big event calls for an outfit to match. This slit dress with its voluminous sleeves is impossible to miss out on our list. Lilian’s look command attention.
PERE EGBI There’s a certain
amount of swag to this look, but some of it stems from the
fact that he knows he always looks good in
most of the outfits he wears.
18 19
S T Y L E & D E S I G N S T Y L E & D E S I G NTHISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
THISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
Ripped jean is a wardrobe staple that is very relaxed and comfy, though it can be hard to pull off if not worn with the right pieces. However, you want to style them, the beauty of ripped jeans is comfort. From boyfriend jeans to wide leg
and skinny jeans, we found some fashion icons wearing them right.
HIGH WAIST RIPPED KNEE JEANS FRILANCY HOYLE is serving us a cute casual look. This relaxed look is flirty with hints of skin showing, appropriate for running errands. You can pull this look off by pairing with a polished flat shoe.
RIPPED JEAN WITH VINTAGE SHIRT JENEE gives us throwback 90’s vibes with ripped jeans, a vintage shirt and sunglasses. When looking for ripped jeans, opt for a pair with just a few slits so you can show the perfect amount of skin. The bag and the shoe are a perfect match.
KAHLANA BARFIELD looks like a 90’s pop star in her oversized boyfriend ripped jeans, crop white top and cute white purse. Talk about inspiration on how to effortless pull off oversized denim.
SLOUCHY ONE KNEE RIPPED JEANS WITH AN OFF THE SHOULDER TOP SONIA BELLO is serving fierceness in this street style look. The slouchy one knee ripped jean gives it an edgy touch pairing with an off the shoulder bright colour top and a strappy sandal for the ultimate cozy fit.
TIKA pulled off this sporty look by pairing it with a black turtle neck, brown coat and a pair of sneakers. This combo is keeping her look on trend.
NAOMI NOINYAN stuns in this pair of mega-ripped jeans paired with a
creamy yellow blazer and see-through pumps, this look is totally red carpet-
20 21
S T Y L E & D E S I G N S T Y L E & D E S I G NTHISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
THISDAY Style Vol. 22, No. 9677 Sunday, November 7, 2021
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL Mental health is an extremely salient
and relevant topic around the world with international campaigns like ‘Always Keep Fighting,’ pioneered by the American actor Jared Padalecki, and ‘I Don’t Mind,’ co-founded by American actor Chris Wood and creative Edward Schmit. In Nigeria, we have organisations like the Mental Health Foundation and Tranquil and Quest Behavioural Health Care Centre, who are doing their part to raise awareness and help people manage their mental health. Many international and local celebrities have come out telling their various stories about their struggles with mental health. Unfortunately, some do not make it. The stigmatisation of mental health issues is a battle that is being fought from all sides and thankfully, the tide is turning. For example, people now realise that going to see a therapist is no longer taboo and should be encouraged in the same way as we visit the doctor to treat a physical illness.
Individuals that suffer from spinal cord injuries and other disabilities can be extremely susceptible to suicidal ideation, self-harm and even psychotic episodes. Imagine, one day, you have the ability to walk, dance, sing and then, without warning, something catastrophic happens and all of that is taken away. You have to learn how to sit up, talk, transfer from one surface to the next, and roll over; depending on how bad the injury is. You have to learn how to pee through a catheter into a bag, you need assistance to do a number two, and you need help to put on your own clothes. At that point
in time, you are stripped of your dignity and the future looks very bleak.
After the car accident that rendered me paralysed from the waist down, I was in shock for about three months. When reality finally sunk in, having a psychologist in my corner was lifesaving. Every week, there was a new topic, from sex after your injury, to whether (and I am quoting myself here) ‘walking people date non-walking people.’ Having any semblance of a normal life seemed like a foreign concept. Questions like – Will I ever feel attractive again? – plagued my thoughts. I did not recognise this new body or way of life.
The loss of identity, the despair, the shock, the feeling of disbelief can be felt deep within your soul. You may feel lost, isolated, angry at God or the universe, betrayed, guilty, distraught, bereft. Before you know it, you are overwhelmed with grief, losing sleep, and crying uncontrollably. It is like you are in the
middle of a sinkhole with no lifeline. Every day and everything are a struggle. The emotional turmoil takes a toll and if you do not talk to someone, it will only get worse. Grief begets grief. It is like being stuck in quicksand with no way out. You are circling the drain because you feel so alone. There were times when I prayed to God not to wake up the next day so I could be free from the pain that had been driving me crazy, the mind-numbing agony that had ravaged my being for several months.
The only people that can truly understand your predicament are others that suffered a similar fate. It is hard to be understood by anyone if they are not going through what you are experiencing first-hand. There is an unspoken language that only disabled people speak; a dialect that only they can understand. It is like you are on the same wavelength on a frequency that no one else can tune in to. You are on the same team, fighting similar
battles. An extreme example of a disabled
person succumbing to their depressive state was the controversial ending to Me Before You (2016). When this film came out, disabled people all the world were in an uproar over the choice that the differently abled character made to (spoiler alert!) end his life because he felt that he could not live as less than. Surprisingly, I understood where he was coming from. If disabled individuals were actually honest with themselves, that they have had suicidal thoughts more than once, they would be able to see from the character’s point of view. If we ascribe to being ‘inspiration porn,’ where we are continuously depicted as sources of strength; battle-tested fighters that smile through the pain no matter what, we lose the multi-faceted and complex nature of our negative feelings and emotions.
In a world with such a short attention span, disabled people are struggling to make their voices be heard. Mental health struggles are not unique to them alone, but they are more likely to experience some sort of a depressive state when they have suffered a devastating injury that changes your life completely. With more people being brave enough to share their experiences regarding a decline in their mental health, it encourages others to speak up. We should learn to support those that need our help, not only to survive, but to thrive in life. Fortunately, I can safely say, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. One just has to be willing to fight for it.
For a girl on the go, multi-tasking should be your wardrobe mis- sion statement. This versatile Enkay clothing “complete set” is a statement piece that has been ef- fortlessly styled in three different ways paring with other wardrobe pieces. This piece is perfect for work, the weekend, and beyond. Here are three ways you can style this piece for different scenarios.
One Look 3 Ways
CLASSIC LOOK This is such a classic look, one of my favourites go-to looks that works at the office and after too. Wearing the complete set is a classy colour combination perfect for an office environment.
CASUAL LOOK For a smart-casual wear just the two pieces so you don’t look too formal. This look would be fun for a girl’s night out or casual date. Add up a mini bag to finish the look.
DATE NIGHT Spiced it up with a see through bralette to elevate the whole look. Great choice if you are on a date night with boo. You look comfy and stylish all night.
22 23