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Nkem Says: There Are Two Sides to Every Story & Sometimes There’s Four



We all love fairy tales. It is black and white: the bad character whose evil nature is apparent from the start is defeated and the good character gets a deserved happy-ever-after. It is easy to choose sides, to prove that one was right and the other wrong. But the world is not like that! It is not as black and white as we would all like it to be. There are no good guys; there are not bad guys either. Not really. Perspective is everything, and whether someone is good or bad is relative to you and your values.

Most people out there actually are not as heartless, wicked or devious as you believe, neither are they crazy, psychotic or demented as you eventually paint them. Sometimes they are just afraid, and as you know, fear will make you do loads of incredibly stupid things.

As much as it is hard to be willing to see things from the perspective of the other, to try and understand why it is that they do these things, there are always two sides to every story. Actually, way more: your side of the story with the information you have, their side of the story with the information they have, and the side of the story that has all the information (which may include accounts from myriad others or even statutory evidence)

Of course, there some standard rights and wrongs. Don’t get it wrong…I’m not talking about things like child abuse, rape, murder or lying to protect oneself. But, when you are talking to your mother and she’s telling you about your father cheating on her; you’re talking to your wife and she’s telling you about her asshole boss is at work; or you yourself are disappointed and engorged with loathing for another person who you are convinced is the root of all your problems…there’s another side to the story.

A woman cheating on her husband is completely wrong, but what if her husband had cheated first and the wife, furious and in pain, opts for the irrational and cheats on him in retaliation? It is a wrong thing for her to do…but you cannot deny there is a reason for it. We are humans, sometimes it is just too difficult to do the right thing, despite how much you want to.

I recently got entangled in a dramatic episode of a friend who cheated on his wife, with his wife’s colleague (who I also know) and the wife is threatening divorce, even though she cheated on him first with her ex, who had since become a ‘family friend’.

According to the wife, she stepped out on the husband because he no longer regarded her emotions, never listened to her and was too domineering. The husband, on the other hand, said he was emotionally detached, as she worked too much and barely spoke to him, and him cheating with the colleague was to make a statement. The ex in question is saying he was not thinking straight, he is going through a trial separation with the wife and is having a hard time. The colleague…well, I don’t know her story but it exists. Quite a messy situation.

A few years ago it would have been super easy for me to point out who the real villain was: perhaps the wife for cheating and pushing a devoted husband into the arms of another woman, or maybe the evil ex for putting asunder, what God had joined together. But, being privy to the so many sides to the story – my friend’s story, his wife’s story, the ex’s story, the ex’s wife’s story, I realize that you cannot really pin down any one person as the root of the problem or as being the supreme villain in the case. Clearly, nothing is as simple as he said/she said or he did/she did.

Basically, there is so much more to this life than the sides we choose to take or standby. We all have our own perspective based on different information, and our own unique ways of processing that information through reason, emotion, and beliefs, so we need to learn to cut people some slack. We need to learn to imagine what the other person’s story is…what could have instigated their action. Given, in some cases, one side will greatly outshine the other and sway the final judgment as an alternative conclusion becomes seemingly impossible, but in all, in almost every single incident or situation involving two or more parties, you cannot really say it was one person’s fault. Do you agree?

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.


  1. That African Chic

    November 20, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Nice article from Nkem. However I do have a problem with your general tone or should I say style of your writings. You (Nkem) always portraysl yourself to be this perfect person, with so called friends who always come to her with very privy details of her life. Nkem, if you are reading this your articles don’t seem genuine at all, you don’t have to be perfect, no one is.
    I think what can draw more readers to you is if you show some human side to you. Some weakness, the ability to laugh at yourself. Because looking at your pic and how you write about yourself the dots just don’t comment.

    I remember the days of Glory, her writings were so relatable because she could critique herself and expose us to her weakness which we could all identify with one way or the other. Or Atoke’s writing in which we all felt she was a best friend in our head.
    Or the very lovely Isio, even with her obviously seemingly exciting life she still managed to make herself relatable.

    So Nkem, please drop the perfection act and just write raw and from your heart. I hope you take this as a constructive criticism and know that we are routing for you but please stop with the unrealistic friends situation you always write and just be real for once. We are tayad and can see right through it. Thank you

    • Na wa

      November 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Looking at her picture you cannot connect the dots…really? I was going to consider your point @africanchic but you killed it right there for me. So because she looks a certain way she must have done some very bad things? And even, i dont think you have read a lot of her articles otherwise you would know she shares too much of her won personal stories sef. You need to check why you are coming for her like this. Could it possibly be beef?

  2. That African Chic

    November 20, 2017 at 7:51 am

    The dots don’t connect***

  3. That African Chic

    November 20, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Where is my initial comment? You just posted a correction I made to the comment and not the main comment

  4. Mamamia

    November 20, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Which kind write up be this? Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it , right is right even if everyone is against it and God has given us the ability to decipher . What would have made this a better write up is, if you had said do not judge, cause there are more than one side to a story. There are no in betweens to wrong and right please. Just don’t judge cause we are all sinners!

    • Cocolette

      November 20, 2017 at 10:32 am

      ‘Don’t judge because we’re all sinners’ then maybe Evans should be set free then, or our children should not be corrected because we’re all sinners

  5. bodunade

    November 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

    if you think your partner is cheating, being abusive, is emotionally distant and all the other excuses y’all married people come up with and can’t stand you can divorce.

    She cheated so I have to cheat right back is the lamest excuse of them all. You can quit.

  6. Lola

    November 20, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Pls,i need Bellanaija’s email address

  7. AceOfSpades

    November 20, 2017 at 11:27 am

    There is no good or evil. There is only power and those too weak to seek it!

  8. omolola

    December 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

    yes, perspective matters but we are all responsible for the choices we make. it doesn’t matter what pushed or motivated your action, if it is a wrong choice I am sorry I wouldn’t relate or take sides with you. nothing justifies doing something wrong

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