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Yes, it’s EXACTLY what you’re thinking 🙂

In line with the dreams and desires of many of us (you inclusive) here at WordsAreWork, it is my pleasure to now announce that we have moved ship to a newer and fresher site.

It is new,

It is fresh,

It is better,

but it is still us.

So please, click here www.wordsarework.com for the new experience. Follow us afresh for immediate mail alerts for new posts; also follow us on twitter @wordsarework and like our Facebook page ‘Words Are Work’.

See you on the other side 😉


Words Are Work, but we make them fun too!



The Lectern: Freudian Theory of Psychosexual Development

This month’s feature on The Lectern is Dr Sigmund Freud’s theory of how all of your adult life can be traced to an unconscious sexual unraveling that happened in your wee years. I knew when I first heard it narrated – and I am more certain now – that this is a theory you want to learn of. So it was a great joy for me when Olamide finally sent that golden ping my way

A few of you might have heard just a little of, or maybe even know all about Freud and his theory of psychosexual development. Regardless though, you want to read it the way she has dropped it at ‘The Lectern’ today. What I find most interesting is that a lot of the scenarios described here are laden with acts we see – and overlook – everyday. A lot of us did these things as kids, many of us still do them, and even more of our children are doing them…and all of these add up to our adult identities? *shudder*

At worst, I hope this amuses you and at best, demystifies all of your life’s hidden crevices. My two-cents though, find some way to straddle the line…

I also hope this is the cue for a fantastic November for all of us.


The Lectern01

that we might be read


Do you suck on your thumb unconsciously? Or twist your hair or bite your nails? Are you known as the guy or lady who has the hots for ‘hot’ arguments? Have you ever wondered why you behave ‘strangely’ or have certain mannerisms which for the life of you, you could never explain?

Many times when faced with questions like these, we worry and wonder and ponder. But very shortly, you will be those no more. These behaviors – behavioral disorders – are not spiritual attacks like is oft diagnosed; many of them are explainable and – this is where it gets interesting – are firmly rooted in our sexuality, a mystery which is unraveled in the Theory of Psychosexual development posited by famous psychoanalyst, Dr. Sigmund Freud.

Before I go further, you should know this: every child is born with no knowledge of the outside world – tabula rasa. His behaviour or personality is based on experiences lived through from the early stage of life through several stages of development till age of awareness. It is this extensive stage of development that Freud divides into five:

  1. The oral stage which starts from birth to age one-year.
  2. The anal stage which starts from age one to three years
  3. The phallic stage which starts from age three to age five years
  4. The latency stage which starts from age five to about eleven years
  5. The genital stage which is the adolescent age upwards, usually from about eleven years upwards



At this stage, the first sexual zone for the child is the mouth. This is the stage were the child derives maximum pleasure from using the mouth; when he is suckling at his mother’s breast, you will see that he has his legs up and bouncing in the air or twisting his hair due to the satisfaction, the sexual satisfaction being derived from the act. At this stage, occurrences like overfeeding or frustration of the child’s feeding will most likely lead the child to mature into an adult with affinity for some oral activities like smoking, kissing, gluttony, alcoholism, nail biting, thumb sucking, gum chewing, e.t.c. Frustration could also lead the child to develop an oral aggressive personality characterized by aggressive behaviours, arguments and exploitation.

A child could become fixated at this stage. Fixation simply put, means that a subject’s psychosexual development from one stage to another has been arrested. Usually for a child, this leads to either a surge or a lack of gratification manifesting as traits of gullibility, passiveness, etc in the child.



The erogenous zone at this stage is the anus. The child at this stage enjoys the process of fecal elimination. He is taught management of his bowel movement by toilet training. Very significantly, he expresses his approval or disapproval over the amount of gratification allowed him at this stage by stooling excessively or too rarely for comfort.

Certain anal personality traits will arise as the child matures, hinging on the severity or lack thereof, of his toilet training. If he deserves pleasure in retention of feaces, he is said to possess anal retentive (holding-on) personality, the characteristics of which are obstinacy, defiance, stinginess, excessive orderliness and compulsive cleanliness. If the child on the other hand, enjoys expelling his waste, his is called a repulsive (letting go) personality. The characteristics of such a personality include disorderliness and destructiveness, also generosity, conceit, propitiation and ambition.



The phallic stage starts about age 3 and ends at age 5 or 6. This is when the child develops pleasurable sensation from stimulating his or her genital organs. The child is said to have increased sexual intrest in parents of the opposite sex, as he or she is physically attracted to them. A conflict is hereby generated. The other parent – of the same sex as the child – is at the roots of this inner struggle, because the child fears punitive measures that can be taken against him or her.

This brand of conflict is referred to as Oedipus complex (after the greek mythology where a son, Oedipus kills his father and marries his mother). The male child notes that females have no Phallus and consequently is afraid that his father may castrate him so that he loses the object that makes him resemble the father. To resolve this conflict, the child identifies with his father; the boy copies his father’s words, postures and mannerisms, he takes on his father’s values, goals and arrogates to himself the qualities he sees in his father. The male child starts developing conscience with this identification so that sometimes we hear little boys say “you know daddy, I am like you – we are men”.

Electra complex is the female counterpart of Oedipus complex. The girl in this case admires and loves her father and thus enters into competition with her mother over him. According to Freud, another reason for this conflict the child brews with her mother is that the little girl feels that her mother deprived her of a phallus. Eventually, the girl child undergoes a process of reluctant identification with the mother, which Freud says, is gradual and uncompleted.



The period between age 5 and 6, and ages 11 to 13 is regarded as latency period by Sigmung Freud. According to him, there is no significant psychosexual development at this stage. Consequently, the period (which is really not a stage) is regarded as latent.



The adolescent stage starts at puberty which marks the beginning of the last stage in Freud’s theory of psychosexual development. At the beginning of the genital stage, there is a reappearance of sexual energies; and those conflicts which were not resolved in earlier psychosexual stages tend to reappear. This is one of the reason why the adolescent stage is regarded by Freud as a stage of stress and strain.
The genital stage culminates in mature normal heterosexual relationship.



Olamide Alo

olamide alo

Olamide is a student of Psychology who loves children, teaching, singing and baking.

If you have a piece you would like to post at ‘The Lectern’, send it in a mail titled ‘The Lectern’ to ojukwumartin@gmail.com. If you want to ‘be read’ but are yet undecided about a subject matter, send me an email too and we can work up something appropriate for you.

“I am @ojukwu_martin on twitter”


I almost missed it oh…my century blog post benchmark. It might not mean plenty, probably nothing to be very proud of, but considering where we – this blog and I – are coming from, I decree that it is.


post 100

For all of you beautiful people, any more thank you’s might force Google to sanction me. Instead, I’ll just keep working hard at rolling the words out for your reading pleasure.

Thank you…oops! 😉

Brothers and Facebook

You have been ignoring it, refusing to believe it. Ever since your dad called from Lagos two days back with the news that Ekwe had gone missing, you have refused to admit that you are indeed worried. It was a morning call; dad always called in the morning these days – not so early that you are deeply asleep but early enough that you still feel the strain of your erection against your drawers. When you took the call, you – as had come to be the tradition – connected your earpiece to it, stuck the foamy bits in your ears and dropped the phone beside your head. With your eyes still shut and your hand loving the rough hairs on your chest in a habitual dance of dawn, you prepared to listen to the litany of the latest wrongs your brother had done.

Only he hadn’t stopped at wrongs this time, he had run off. You started to pay attention at that point, your eyes opened and your hand on your chest froze. Your dad recounted the events of the day before and ended by repeating it. Ekwe had not spent the night at home and nobody had seen or heard from him since then. What about his phone? Dad had taken it just before he skipped out.

You remember how unworried your father had been; little brother had slowly evolved into a mean thorn in the flesh. He sinned against all the dogma of the quintessential Christian family mum and dad had built and never seemed to even want to change. And oh, he wasn’t so little anymore. He was 18. He was not worried, your father had reiterated, he was sure Ekwe would resurface once the money he left with got exhausted. You agreed with dad, the gruff in your voice deepened with sleep and a ‘manly’ fearlessness you intentionally inserted.

It has been five days now. And in those five days, you have called your distant step-cousins who he had developed an affinity for from the last trip to the village. The boys were just Ekwe’s type – showy braggarts with no depth and plenty of blingz. So they had clicked. They listened mute while you bumbled through several awkward attempts at camaraderie and conversation. In tones as flat as your attempts had fallen, they zipped you off – no, they did not know. You have also called his friend from secondary school, the one who swore his new girlfriend had made him see the light. He had taken to it alone though, Ekwe’s eyes were apparently too sensitive for the ‘Christian’ light. He too did not know where Ekwe was.

You want to call some more but it dawns on you – not for the first time – that you hardly know any of his recent friends. Since you left home for the university three years ago, the brotherly bond had grown thinner and thinner. And as you moved from semester to semester, the realities of life had loomed larger and larger before you. And you had bothered less and less about Ekwe and his aruruana, as Ego calls it. Ego is your older sister; she’s married with three kids. There’s just the three of you and she believes, like your dad, that your brother is best left on his own to realize the folly of his actions from their bitter results.

And every time you chat with her on BBM, you concur. You sound all ‘manly’ and unconcerned, you say “he is a fully grown man, he can cater for himself”. But when you put down the phone, you are not so sure. You remember all those times as a kid when Ekwe would do something silly and you would – after beating him, also silly – flirt with the idea in your mind of him dying and leaving you an only son; a motherless only son.

On those occasions, you imagined he got run down by a car in the streets or a bare electric wire fell on the bike bringing him home from school. You imagined you would run out to the streets when you got the news, and you would stare at his lifeless, (mangled or fried) body for a few moments. Then you would blink twice so that one tear – and one alone – would fall off, after which you would turn around and walk home. Very like a man. Then when he was to be buried, you imagined yourself walking up slowly but steadily to his grave, a spade in your hand loaded with moist red earth. This time you wouldn’t cry, only sigh very deeply and loud enough for the people nearby to hear, before dumping the dirt on his wooden casket and walking away. Also like a man.

The memories come back to haunt you as you sit at your computer looking through Ekwe’s facebook profile. One part of you is glad your mum died all those years ago, it would break her heart the things Ekwe is…was doing. The other part of you wishes she were here so you could lay your head on her lap and confess to her that you do not want to be an only son. You do not want your brother dead. And there is nothing manly about the tears you shed every night when you lay in your bunk bed.

A friend buzzes you on BBM and you remember the friend lives in Lagos. Before you can stop yourself, you ask him if he has seen your brother, that he is missing. Your friend says no, he doesn’t even know what your brother looks like. So he can see what Ekwe looks like, you type in Ekwe’s facebook name and stop yourself just before you hit send. You stopped because you remembered that Ekwe’s pictures on facebook make you feel ashamed. He has semi-nudes with ladies of mostly advanced ages in different compromising situations, and he has pictures displaying the dragon tattoo on his biceps and some with captions like ‘Smoke weed today…save a life’.  They are not pictures you want any of your friends to see, they all know you are a solid Christian brother.

You tell your friend that you will send him pictures. When you check, you realize that you have no pictures of Ekwe on your phone. As you browse through his facebook albums for any pictures that will not shame you, your breath comes slow and heavy. And an ache builds in your chest, blurring your vision of the laptop screen. You have never done drugs but you’re fairly certain this is how it would feel if you had barbiturates flowing in your veins.

You find some okay pictures and you send them off to your friend. Then you pack up and lay down on your slim hostel mattress. You turn one way, then the other, and back the one way. Right on time, the tears burn through your corneas, sear your lids and slide out the corners of your eyes. You sigh a heavy sigh; it will be another very long night.



Come, what’s all this noise about women and an innate complexity? “Women are complex, difficult, unpredictable, irritable, erratic, incomprehensible”… is all I ever heard as a growing child. As I grew, the talk only got worse; interestingly, I discovered the even more distorted opinion that women are indeed in support of this peddled talk. I mean, WHO in their right mind would want to be complex and difficult and unpredictable and irritable and erratic and incomprehensible? Apparently, the answer is women.

I refuse to accept that. On behalf of the beautiful good women my life’s path has harbored in the past and present, I refuse to see this talk of complexity as anything but hokus pokus.


It was Mother’s day yesterday; in appreciation of motherhood and in essence, women, I present my proof…





1. Everywoman likes to be called baby, ESPECIALLY if she says she doesn’t.

2. No woman likes to be called Mama Izuu or Mama Aliyu or Iya Momoh.

3. Everywoman will smile, REALLY smile, when you compliment her looks, especially her hair AND more especially if it’s true.

4. Any woman who yells and curses at her husband in the labor room is back there in less than a year.

5. All women like that they’re women, even with all the pain and abuse that they ever-so-complain about.

6. Everywoman classifies men into two groups – snacks and meals; snacks are flashy, sweet and brief. They only satisfy your temporary nibble needs. But meals are whole, rock-solid and for real. They hang on for the whole ride.

7. Everywoman will say she prefers ‘meals’ of course – balanced diet and all – but they all crave some sweet ‘snack’-time twice in every while.

8. Women like it when their men treat them like the weaker sex…because they know they are not.

9. Women whenever they get together, like to talk (NOT gossip) about what people did; special treatment is reserved for what people SAID.

10. Most women above 25 have told their girlfriends that all men are snakes at least twice.

10(b). All of them knew they were telling it to the real ‘snakes’


So to the woe-mongers, I say: Complicated ko…complex ni! Our women are simple…and beautifully so.





Beauty, beauty, beauty…Walter Ude captures ‘The Quintessence of Beauty’ in this piece. It got me thinking. And I’ll soon be putting those thoughts into words. Meanwhile, enjoy this ‘mindsnap’


We have been coached to abstract the idea of beauty as being perfect; Perfect physique, perfect eyes, perfect nose, perfect lips, and perfect hair – in other words, too perfect to be human.

It seems to me that once you have moved up your way to the top of the entertainment industry and have being elevated from being a mere human to a super-perfect star, then – and only then – can you be called “beautiful”.

The question of who decides who is beautiful is one that has always puzzled me. So I did a bit of investigating on my own. I asked around for my usual company to define beauty. I got answers like “J-Lo”, “Brad Pitt”, “Halle Berry”, and “Beyoncé”. In some instances, some even tossed out “Genevieve Nnaji” and “RMD”. I rest my case.

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