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In Tajikistan Celebrating Your Birthday In Public Is Considered Illegal

The Democratic Republic of Tajikistan is probably the only country in the world where celebrating a birthday outside the family home can earn offenders a hefty fine.

The recent case of Tajik pop star Firusa Khafizova, who got fined 5,000 somoni ($530)/(N190,800) for celebrating her birthday in the company of friends outside her home, has once again drawn attention to one of Tajikistan’s most bizarre laws.

According to the “Regulation of Traditions and Customs in the Republic of Tajikistan” the celebration of birthdays anywhere except in the privacy of the family circle is strictly forbidden, with offenders risking hefty fines.

As strange as that may sound, the law is actually enforced, with authorities going as far as using social media pictures and videos as proof against suspected offenders.

In Khafizova’s case, prosecutors used a video she had uploaded to Instagram to build their case against her. It showed her partying with friends at a restaurant and even performing with them on stage, a clear violation of Article 8 of Tajikistan’s regulations on traditions, celebrations and customs. She had to pay a fine of 5,000 (N190,800) somoni for her mistake.

Tajiks have taken to social media to express their displeasure with the bizarre law, calling it an interference of the state in people’s private lives, but prosecutors defended the bizarre restrictions, saying that they are in the best interest of the general public.

The way they see it, banning public celebrations encourages citizens to spend their money on the needs of their families rather than on unnecessarily lavish birthday parties. It is also considered a way to ease the debt some people accumulate to organize extravagant celebrations.

The Regulation of Traditions and Customs in the Republic of Tajikistan” was introduced in 2007 and expanded upon in 2017. It now allows the state to impose strict limits on the number of guests and dishes allowed at weddings, funerals, christenings and birthdays, as well as set the duration of such celebrations.

While the law has become a source of amusement in the West, human rights advocates in Tajikistan claim that it is a tool for authorities to intervene in people’s private lives and restrict their rights and freedoms.

Cases similar to that of Firusa Khafizova have been reported in the past. For example, in 2015, a Tajik man was fined 4,000 somoni ($630 at the time) after posting a photo of himself at a cafe, with a birthday cake, on Facebook.

According to documents from Tajikistan’s supreme court, 648 people were fined for violating this bizarre law in 2018 alone. The quantum of issued fines in these cases amounted to 3 million somoni ($325,000).

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Alleged Rape: We Had Consensual Sex – Ex-Unilag Lecturer Tells Lagos Court


Pix Dr Baruwa

Dr. Baruwa

Dr. Afeez Baruwa, an ex-lecturer with the University of Lagos, accused of raping a 17-year-old admission seeker (name withheld), has said that he had consensual sexual intercourse with the teenager.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Baruwa made the claim on Friday while testifying for five hours before an Ikeja High Court.

Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, Baruwa described himself as a community leader at Abesan, Lagos, and an academic who worked as a project supervisor at the Distant Learning Institution (DLI) of the university from 2010 to 2015.

He said that the father of the complainant, also a community leader at Abesan Low-Cost Housing Estate, where they both lived, was known to him and had approached him to aid his daughter to gain admission into the institution.

Baruwa said that in the early hours of July 23, 2015, the man dropped off the teenager at his home and they both left for university for him to resume work and also to help her with admission.

He said: “We arrived Unilag at 6.05am, and we went down to my friend’s office where I use as my study room as well as supervision contact.

”As we were going upstairs, we saw about seven Muslims observing their normal early morning prayer.

“In the office, we were talking generally; then I offered her tea or coffee, she settled for coffee and she made it for herself. All this while, the door of the office was open and there was no way I could put on the air conditioner.

“She told me that as a result of the coffee, she was feeling hot and that I would need to shut the door. I responded that it was too early in the morning (before 7a.m.) for us to be alone.

“She told me to lock the door that after all, she was mature enough, and I did. After that, she picked up a textbook to read. She sat on a single chair while I sat on a three-seat chair.”

The former lecturer said he fell asleep but was woken up after about 20 minutes by the complainant who, he claimed, was fondling him.

“Her hands were all over me and I woke up and I looked at her. By then, she had already removed the buttons of her blouse and I did suck her breasts.

“She said she needed to pull her white shirt so that it will not be stained and she had her jeans trousers on. We were romancing each other in that position, my lord.

“She told me that she wanted me to have sex with her and I replied that there was no way I could practise unsafe sex with her; this was some minutes past 7a.m. .

“She sucked my penis and I thereafter released, and around that time, one of my students came in, but we had dressed up,” Baruwa said.

He said after the sexual contact, he, the complainant and the student went to the Commercial Center in the institution to make enquiries about her eligibility to study mass communication with her UTME score of 211.

According to him, they got information that the score did not qualify her to write post UTME, and he advised her to apply to study English with the score.

He said after they left the Commercial Center, the teenager went to see some friends and came to his office later to say farewell to him and thank him for his efforts in helping her to seek admission.

Baruwa said: “She offered to give me a hug as a sign of appreciation and I obliged her, my lord. When we hugged, she moved her hands toward my penis. This was a few minutes after 10a.m.

“There were a lot of students outside the office, they sat around the stairs waiting to go in for the next batch of lectures. I told her to be conscious of the students that were outside.

“She threatened to shout and create a scene if I refuse to have sex with her and I told her like I did early in the morning that there was no way that I could have unsafe sex with her and she told me to look for a condom.

“My lord, I was scared because I noticed the desperation in her. I left her in the office and went downstairs to look for a condom. When I returned, I locked the door and turned the other way to wear the condom.

“When I turned back to meet her, she had already removed her jean trousers; that was how we had sex. About 10 to 15 minutes later, she told me that she was okay.

“I teased her that she was self-centred because I was yet to release. I put back my clothes and went to the toilet to clean myself. We stayed in the office for another 20 minutes before I saw her off to the bus stop.”

Baruwa denied raping the complainant and said he had known her before she was introduced to him by her father.

According to him, he took her on three or four occasions to the university and he thought she was aged 23 years or 24 years, because she was plump, until she allegedly told him she was approaching her 19th birthday.

Baruwa told the court that a week after the sexual encounters, he received a text message from the complainant’s father threatening to deal with him for what he did to his daughter.

He said that on Aug. 3, 2015, he was arrested by the police who were accompanied by the complainant and her father.

“It baffles me my lord, I got to realise that it was a complete set up because I contested against her father for the Chairmanship of Abesan Community Development Association, which I won.

“I believe it is a way of getting at me. The complainant was never drugged by me, the coffee she took she prepared by herself.

“We spent over five hours together and we were both active. There were no symptoms of being drugged, my lord. As far as I am concerned, I am innocent of the allegation against me,” he said.

While cross-examining the defendant, Mr Y. G. Oshoala, a Deputy Director in the state Directorate of Public Prosecution, disputed Baruwa’s claim of innocence.

“Did you inform her father that you would be having sexual intercourse with her? Do you know a child below 18 years is incapable of giving consent to sex?

“If the sex was consensual, why does the medical report state that there was severe injury to her private part? Did her father give her to you as a wife? What will be your reaction if your personal office is used for sexual intercourse?

“As a muslim, is it good conduct to have sexual intercourse with someone you are not married to? Why did you lie to the complainant’s father that you worked in Unilag and not DLI? Was it to prey on his daughter?” Oshoala queried.

Oshoala submitted that a lot of Baruwa’s claims were not reflected in his statements to the police.

Responding, Baruwa said: “I am not a permanent staff of Unilag, I do not work where they process admission, but I can make enquiries and assist.

“I was not aware that she was not yet 18 years old. I would not be happy if my personal office was used for sexual intercourse, I didn’t expect us to have sex on that day.

“I never told her father that she accompanied me to Unilag before; no religion permits having sex with someone other than your wife. I have no personal office in Unilag.

“I never deceived people about the employment status at Unilag.”

Following Baruwa’s cross-examination, Ajanaku informed the court that the former lecturer would be the sole defence witness, adding that the defence would consequently close its case.

Justice Josephine Oyefeso adjourned the case until Oct. 10, for adoption of final written addresses.

NAN reports that the prosecution alleges that the former lecturer raped the teenager at 9.25a.m. on July 23, 2015, in Room 8, at the Faculty of Business Administration Annex building of the University of Lagos.

The alleged rape occurred when she was in his office to make arrangements for her admission into the university.

Following the rape allegation, the university put up a disclaimer in respect of Baruwa.

Rape violates Section 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, and can be punished with up to life imprisonment.

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Doctors ‘Perform Brain Surgery On Wrong Patient’

Four Kenyan medics have been suspended after cutting open the skull of the wrong patient at a hospital in Nairobi.

One patient needed surgery for a blood clot on the brain, the other only non-invasive treatment for swelling.

But a horrifying mix-up of identification tags saw the wrong man operated on, reports say.

The doctors did not realise their mistake until “hours into the surgery, when they discovered there was no blood clot”, the Daily Nation reported.

The head of the Kenyatta National Hospital said the patient was “in recovery and progressing well” and an investigation is under way.

The board regulating medical practice says such a mix-up is a first in the country. It has demanded a report from the hospital and plans to hold a hearing.

Social media users have expressed shock that such an incident could have been allowed to happen.

It comes only six weeks after the health minister ordered an investigation into claims new mothers were sexually assaulted at the same hospital.

Doctors ‘overwhelmed’
Hospital CEO Lily Koros said the hospital “deeply regrets this event and has done all it can to ensure the safety and well-being of the patient in question.

“We are happy to inform the public that the patient is in recovery and progressing well,” Ms Koros added.

She said four staff – the neurosurgeon, ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse and anaesthetist – had been suspended.

“The management has suspended the admission rights of a neurosurgery registrar and issued him with a show-cause letter for apparently operating on the wrong patient,” Ms Koros said. A show-cause letter requires a staff member to account for his or her actions.

But the doctor’s colleagues have protested against the suspension, arguing the person who put on the identification tag is the one that should be punished.

Meanwhile, the doctors’ union defended staff, saying the hospital was “overwhelmed” by staff shortages and inadequate operating theatre space.

“You find one doctor could be doing 10 to 19 operations [in a day],” Ouma Oluga, chief executive officer of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union, told Reuters news agency.

The Nation reports that – “in a miracle of some sort” – the two patients are in good condition. It adds that the person who had the blood clot might not need to undergo surgery after all, as his condition has improved significantly.

Social media users were scathing about the apparent error.

Some called for the resignation of the hospital’s entire board of management in light of the other controversies at the institution.

As well as the allegations that new mothers were sexually assaulted in the hospital, a woman was able to kidnap a newborn baby there in February. The baby was recovered and returned to his parents a day later.

The flagship national hospital has also been plagued with reports of broken equipment, overcrowding, and long waiting times for treatment. Its management blames insufficient funding and says inadequate health provision more widely in Kenya has placed an unreasonable burden on the hospital.


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My Boobs Are My Talent – Ghanaian Model, Pamela Odame

Social media star, Pamela Odame Watara has been on the chopping board of many Ghanaians ever since she became an overnight sensation because of those huge assets she has on her chest. While many have sat far away and admired her big boobs, others have criticized her for being someone without any talent.

Well, according to the Instagram model who is gradually becoming an actress, her heavy and uncommon breast is part of her talent.

She told Zionfelix on the ‘Uncut’ show that it is quite difficult for her to understand why people will even suggest she has no talent. She questions how somebody who is without talent will get gigs to shot videos as a vixen for many of the top musicians in Ghana.

Pamela also stressed that she currently has started an acting career and that very soon Ghanaians will see three movies she played a key role in on the market.

When the host told her that people suggested that she got those gigs because of her very big melons, Pamela stated that she believes it is true, because her boobs form part of her talent and as such, she can’t take it away.


The Kenyan-born Ghanaian model has previously said her big boobs are a miracle to her, when she revealed that they were not as big as they are now when she was a growing child.

She added that her boobs began to grow bigger when she attained the age of 16 and her mother took her to see the doctor thinking she was sick.

She mentioned that she is yet to come to terms with how her bosoms started growing out of proportion.

“When I attained 16, my left breast was big and the right one was flat. My mother took me to new Dorma Municipal Hospital where they doctor examined and said there was nothing wrong. Those days to hide the size of the left one, I had to pimp the other with cushion so they will be at level,” she said.

“The doctor after pressing and examining it assured us that the other one will develop. Between six and eight months later I started seeing signs of development as we were told by the doctor,” she added.

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