This too shall pass away

I listen to her as she bares her mind, sharing with me the struggles and frustrations she had experienced over the past week. “I feel so lost….” I try to find the right words to say. It will pass I say. Everything will be fine. “I’m getting tired” she replied.  I sigh.

I’ve been here. I know how it feels to be lost, to be tired. Lord what can I do I thought.  I can pray, I can encourage her, be there for her, I will look for ways to help, and I have to.

Lord, I ask again at this moment what do I do? “You can write as you pray” and for the first time in a long while I did write.

Dear friend,

I have been here before, in this very place where you don’t know the next step to take, where it feels everything is crumbling, where you are stuck, where there are changes around you but you are not even sure they are the changes you want to see. This place where everyone seem to wear a genuine smile except you, where you trust him one moment and the next you lose your faith, where you try, you really try but it’s so difficult to hold on to the truth that he cares, he sees, and that he has you covered.

Yes I know this place, where even your body is tired from the stress and your emotional bank is dry. This place full of people yet you can’t let them see all that is going on inside of you. This place where you feel everyone has it all going for them except you.

I have been here but I can’t say I have been in this exact room because there are the other stuffs too, the fact that you are still single. You don’t worry about this ordinarily but on days like this when the burden of everything going on presently hits you, you feel the pain of being single, on days like this, nothing makes sense, nothing is working, not professionally, not emotionally, not in any way.

I’m still not sure I have the right words to encourage you now, but I know that this too shall pass away. Remember I have been here but in the end it passed away for indeed:

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You can count on him.  He keeps his words. So learn the lessons, grow, expand, and endure for soon you will be leaving this place.

You will do well in the exams, and you will achieve your set goals, you will make the right decisions and you will excel. I believe in you and I am praying for you.

This post isn’t just for Cassandra my friend, it’s for Titi whose effort to get pregnant is bearing no fruit, it’s for Jumoke who keeps having miscarriages, for Tj who wonders if that good job would ever surface, for Conrad who never thought he would bury his little one, for Helen who believes she would never enjoy a beautiful relationship, for Danielle who wonders if that promotion she deserves would ever come, for Mj whose business ideas have never seen the  light of day, for Janie who wonders how she would ever raise money for her studies abroad if she never passes the scholarship exams. It is for anyone and everyone who wonder if the Lord would still come through for them. This too shall pass away for he is with you even now when you are not sure of his abiding presence.

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PS: This week please be there for someone, pray with them, take them to lunch, buy them a gift, and give them a warm hug. We cannot be truly happy if our loved ones are not. So go spread some happiness. Perhaps this week someone would pray for me that I would write more often 🙂

 

More than just a Rhyme

The pianist’s keys struck a chord in my heart and the familiar almost forgotten tune made me nostalgic. I smiled. Jeez! This can’t be I thought, but it was. The music director stood before the congregation, “sing along,” he said and the church promptly obeyed with childlike enthusiasm. And then the memories came flooding in.  I could hear our voices, no not the congregation’s this time but the voices of seven-year olds chanting their favorite school rhymes. Melodious voices they were. Never mind the fact that some sang off-key. Who cared about keys and parts when lunch boxes were waiting to be opened? The stress of the previous class activities was forgotten, some bellowed as if prizes would be given to the one whose voice was loudest. We had to sing it twice.

Some have food but cannot eat; some can eat but have no food. We have food and we can eat. Glory be to thee oh Lord, Amen.” And then, we recited the addendum. “Bless this food oh Lord for Christ sake. Amen. Aunty come and eat, Uncle come and eat, Teachers come and eat.” The naughty ones extended their invitation to the proprietress on most occasions. It was after this ritual that we had our lunch and no meal ever tasted better.

Memories! I almost laughed out loud in church recollecting it all. Oh, life was blissful then. I joined the congregation in singing just as the music director signaled a halt. Everyone was happy. Many were smiling and some were laughing. The choir started their ministration with a beautiful rendition of the rhyme. It was just perfect; the pop flavour did justice to it. Everyone was excited and joined them, and then a tear dropped from my eyes and another till I was almost crying. I bowed my head slightly not wanting to be embarrassed. Hey, I said to me, why are you crying?

I must have chanted that rhyme over a hundred times in the course of my nursery and primary education, always with excitement and vigor but I have never grasped its profound meaning, until that day in church. In the midst of the craziness around us, in the pursuit of happiness, in the quest for a better tomorrow, in worrying over things we want but don’t have, better jobs, booming businesses, state of the art houses and offices, in the pains of broken relationships, loss of loved ones, violence all around, challenges here and there, in the day-to-day rush to meet deadlines, targets, lectures, appointments etc.

In the midst of all these, I realized we had lost sight of the precious gift of being alive, having food to eat and having the capacity to eat it. We want so much that we forget what we have. As I wiped the tears from my eyes, in that moment, I forgot everything and said thank you. Truly there is always something to be thankful for. Being alive, having food to eat, and the capacity to eat it is enough reason to be thankful. It’s more than enough.

Yes I have chanted that rhyme a lot this week, perhaps not with the kind of enthusiasm and vigor with which we sang it back then, lol, but with joy. Life may not be as blissful as it was when one was between five to seven years old and the only cares and worries then was how to complete your assignment in time so you don’t miss watching Voltron or Tom and Jerry. However you are still here, you have food and you can eat 🙂 this week shake of the worries, breath in happiness, breath out the stress, and just be thankful for the blessings you have.

Ps: I have missed you guys. Feels good to be back 😉

Trials of Mr. Sanjo (A fool at my age)

finalseriesHello beautiful people, the series ends today and I hope you totally enjoyed it and also learnt one or two things. The other day on twitter, someone tweeted about a person who sent a resume to her and had his/her name written as “HOLUWAHTOSYN” and she lamented the fact that people still make silly mistakes regarding their resumes when job hunting. There are so many dos and don’ts of writing a good C.V and every job seeker is expected to know them but as hard as it is to believe, truth is many don’t, and still make even “silly” mistakes like sending resumes from sexyhawtie@gmail/yahoo.com.

When I read this series written by a friend Joshua Adeyemo I loved the fact that he packaged some job hunting/interview tips and workplace issues together and delivered it in a simple way. His blog http://www.workplacenigeria.wordpress.com is quite informative and if you love this series, you should visit the blog and FOLLOW.

It was good to see another blog that deals with workplace issues in Nigeria, @versatilenaija writes good articles on career tips and when I saw what Joshua Adeyemo was doing as well, I was impressed, so y’all should visit his blog 🙂 these bloggers are dishing cool stuff for free 😉

You can also follow @workplacenaija on twitter. so here we go, enjoy the concluding part of the series. Do leave your comments and have a productive, beautiful week.

To everything in life there is a time and an appointed season. We all hope for good times but somehow bad times seem to creep in. If wisdom were for sale in Shoprite stores, if understanding was based on monthly subscription and if knowledge of the unknown was displayed in our local markets, I would fill my barns till they overflow. Love they say is not a crime, but what crime did I commit to deserve this? What exactly did I do wrong?

That Shade and I were dating soon made the headlines, it became necessary to do the needful. What surprised me was the jealous nature of other ladies at work. They would gossip about us, flaunt themselves at me and give me a quizzing look as if to say, you no see us abi, na only shade you see (You ignored us and picked Shade)

For Shade and I, the feeling was mutual, at least that was what I thought. We dated for another few months and we both agreed it was time to take our relationship to the next level. She knew the implication, it meant one of us had to resign in line with company policy and after giving it several thought, we agreed that I should resign and get a better job. This decision though difficult was founded on the fact that she not only earned more but her prospects in the company were greater. All my effort to convince her otherwise proved abortive, if my parents should find out, perhaps it would give my mother a heart attack  I thought as I scribbled a sample of my resignation letter.

The stage was set, everything was planned. Shade would take care of our expenses while I look out for another opportunity. She moved in with me and the day I handed in my resignation letter, I felt like I just committed suicide. This was my dream and for the sake of love I had to let it go. Just how much can we sacrifice for Love? Could this be wisdom or folly at its peak? Did I tell you that mama (Mother) eventually found out? Shade automatically fell out of favour with her.

Three months after my resumption into the Unemployment Market, It was hard as usual. Things haven’t changed much in this country I thought; maybe it’s high time for CHANGE in Nigeria. The Love that seemed sweet soon turned bitter, the respect and honour soon dissipated into wanton anger and disrespect. It started with murmurings about paying the bills and feeding me as a dependent and when I found out Shade was cheating on me, it was a blow too hard to absorb.

Was it really cheating or was it a reunion, I just knew I was a big fool. Her ex-husband as she would always refer to him somehow crept back into her life and I was soon the man putting asunder to what God had joined together.

I lost my job and eventually lost Shade and faced the peril attached to job hunting in Nigeria, I could not afford to return home. I came to Lagos to make it, though my enemies have finally succeeded, a Yoruba adage says when you fall from a horse, you climb again. Congrats to all the witches from my village and well done to all who placed curses on my ancestors. Watch out for my return. There is God in everything we do.

I kept asking myself, was this really the work of some invisible powers or was I just a fool at my age. This thought ran through my mind as I stared at the cup of soaked garri (cassava flakes) and groundnut in front of me, maybe I was just a fool at my age.

Incidentally, it was my 31st Birthday !!!

The End

Mr Sanjo isn’t employed today but he is an employer of labour in his auto-mechanic workshop in Lagos. This was after he realized that his greatest enemy was no one but himself.

The Trials of Mr Sanjo is an article series designed to entertain, educate and inform readers of the prevailing issues in our work environment. It is a skillful mix of real life experience and professional counsel.

Series 3: The trials of MR. Sanjo (Office Seduction)

 

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Working in a firm blessed with beautiful women can be tempting. Sometimes you have to close your eyes and rebuke the devil. I wonder how the male folk survive the distraction and arousal caused by these innocent beauties. I have been to several offices in Lagos and used banks in different states of the federation and I sometimes think there must be some kind of recruitment strategy designed to engage beautiful faces. Are all these damsels really that brilliant, or just some customer attraction strategy? Anyways, in these days of Brazilian hair and High Definition quality (HD) make up, every lady on the block is a beauty.

 

Shade was the highest point of my trial, after breaking the yoke of unemployment, keeping my job amidst her seduction was another race I had to win. “Now that I am gainfully employed, I still need your prayers” I intimated my parents.

 

The Induction

I resumed work and I was told there would be an induction. It sounded like an initiation ceremony but it was very enlightening. Good induction training ensures new starters are retained, and then settled in quickly and happily to a productive role. It’s about the basics that seasoned employees all take for granted: what the shifts are; where the notice-board is; what the routine is for holidays, sickness; where the canteen is; what the dress code is; where the toilets are e.t.c. I was made to understand the organization’s mission, goals, values and philosophy; personnel practices, health and safety rules, and of course the job I was required to do, with clear methods, timescales and expectations. This gave me the required information needed to commence work. Without an induction, I would have found it hard to settle in quickly.

 

Shade cut the figure of a natural African queen, everyone at work admired her and the fact that she handled my induction allowed us more time together but my mind was made up, there would be nothing between us, yes nothing besides work.

As the days rolled by, I began to garner the interest of other colleagues as everyone seemed to like my personality and the work I did. My weekly reports were well rated and some of my colleagues envied me. For some time, I thought Shade had forgotten about me but little did I know that she was behind all my recommendations for special projects. I was drafted into a team headed by her to handle the incessant breakdown of machinery and equipment in the company. That was when I saw the revised and seductive version of “The devil wears Prada”.

 

Office Seduction

This is a deliberate effort in the workplace directed at enticing a person, to lead astray, to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour. And so I was led astray by Shade’s seductive wits. As a member of her team, we spent long hours reviewing purchase documents to verify specification, quality, location and cost of equipment purchased and to compare with years of use and expected rate of depreciation. She would lean over my desk to reveal her cleavage or bend to pick up a paper she intentionally dropped. My heart raced whenever our lips almost met and I kept praying; “Jesu Gbami ooo” (Jesus Save me). Whenever we were alone, she would take off her Jacket under the guise of heat despite the effectiveness of the air condition. Whenever she whispered in my ear, I shivered and when she placed her hands on my laps, I fought hard to concentrate. My guards eventually let me down the night we kissed after she dropped me off. Whatever she did, it worked. Whatever spell she used, I just found her irresistible. I forgave her and I was in love with Shade again.

 

Workplace Romance Policy

Workplace romance exists when two members of the same organization develop a relationship with mutual attraction. In no time and true to Shade’s text, we continued from where we left off and to my surprise, everyone at work began to notice our closeness. We agreed to keep things professional at work but some amebo (nosy folks) just kept snooping until it was no longer news. One Thursday afternoon, the operations manager teased me about her and then I knew there was fire on the mountain. He told me the HR Manager was aware and that I will have to make a decision very soon. “Haaa, mogbe”!!! (I am doomed)

I couldn’t sleep that night as two lines of the company policy as stated in my handbook kept ringing through my mind;

 

  • Employees who allow personal relationships with co-workers to adversely affect the work environment will be subject to the appropriate provisions of our disciplinary policy, including counseling for minor problems.
  • Employee off-duty conduct is generally regarded as private, as long as such conduct does not create problems within the workplace. An exception to this principle, however, is romantic or sexual relationships between co-workers.

 

Now at another crossroad in my life and career, I feel like my enemies have won again. They not only followed me to Lagos, they came, they tried and they conquered. Or maybe there is no enemy, maybe this is fate or just another love story from the archives of Love and Relationships.

What should I do? Where do I go from here? Losing my job would be a disaster and loosing Shade isn’t an option either. Maybe we are meant to be together, could it be that fate reunited us? I continued to think as I leaned on the sofa.

In no time, I was snoring away my sorrow!!!

The Trials of Mr Sanjo is an article series designed to entertain, educate and inform readers of the prevailing issues in our work environment. It is a skillful mix of real life experience and professional counsel.

 

The trials of Mr. Sanjo 2. (The interview)

workThe pot that will savour stew must with its buttocks withstand fire. Good things in life don’t come easy, especially when you are carrying a spell like mine. How on earth did I over-sleep, surely this is not ordinary. I ran out of the house and luckily, it didn’t take much time before the bus was filled. Off and heading to Lagos, the driver was a blessing. He drove like he was possessed and as much as everyone in the bus tried to rebuke him; I couldn’t help but see him as a blessing in disguise. If only things were different, I continued to lament all through the journey.

Finally, I arrived at the firm and just as I entered through the huge gate, my enemies struck again. A bird dropped on my suit and it didn’t look good. I looked up cursing angrily but the little bird flew away obviously without any idea how much havoc it had caused. I looked at the stain with frustration; this must be a sign as everything in Nigeria has some superstition attached. Hopefully this time it’s a good sign, I have come too far to embrace bad luck. I asked the secretary for the convenience and by the time I returned to the reception it was my turn.

Stay Positive and Be Confident

It’s normal to feel nervous but it’s equally important to stay calm and be composed. I looked at the expression on the face of the young man heading out of the interviewing room, it looked familiar. This is the face of defeat I thought, i just wonder what those people must have said to him. Some interviewers can be like demons, that is why we often go for special prayers before any interview. Those HR professionals can be a handful. Everyone in the room smiled, I kept wondering what arrow they had in their quiver. They all normally smile until they eventually shock you with their missile questions. And then they began.

Tell us about yourself?

I didn’t start repeating the details on my CV as many people do; I told them my experience in the field. Though this is tough when you are a graduate without cognate experience, I focused on the practical I had done. The engines I had worked on and the success I achieved during my apprenticeship. They all seemed impressed and then questions began to flow. At some point, I felt comfortable answering those questions.

Tell us about a situation when your work was criticized?

This question is very tricky but I managed to emphasize the positive feedback I had received for my work but as no one is perfect, there is always room for improvement. I gave them a scenario in the early days of my career and how it helped me learn to tidy every work done. The key is to focus on something that has added a new dimension to my knowledge.

I stayed positive and returned home with expectation. I had the feeling I had nailed this one and my feeling was confirmed when I received a call, it was a familiar voice but I didn’t care. I got the appointment and all my enemies were put to shame.  I gave the testimony in church and quickly updated my profile on social media. Shame on all the witches and wizards in my neighborhood, shame on all those who looked down on me, my time had finally come.

I went to pick my letter and to finalize the details of my appointment, I was however shocked when I found out Shade was the HR Assistant. She was my ex-fiancée; the one I told you abandoned me. Rumour has it that her marriage broke up; she didn’t make it through the first anniversary. She gave me a look, a look that suggested something silly. I still had feelings for her; I couldn’t stop myself from thinking we could somehow make it work. Maybe I should just focus on my job I thought, I wondered how easy that would be. “This is a company whose policy frowns at office romance. I have suffered big time to get this job, I can’t afford to lose this opportunity in the name of Love I said out loud to myself”.

However my thoughts were soon confirmed when I eventually got a text from her “Congratulations, what do you say we continue from where we left off”?

Ah! My enemies are at work again, so they followed me here abi?

Picture courtesy Google

The Trials of Mr. Sanjo is an article series designed to inform, entertain and educate readers on the prevailing issues in our work environment. It is a skillful mix of real life experience and professional counsel.

The Trials of Mr.Sanjo

workvacancyHello everyone, it’s Thursday and the weekend is hovering round the corner. I will be posting a short series titled “The trials of Mr. Sanjo” to spice up your weekend. it’s educating and entertaining. It centres on issues arising from unemployment, Job hunting, interview and the work environment. It was written by Joshua Adeyemo who started a blog recently. I will share the link to his blog at the end of the series. His blog is quite informative and you should check it out. I will be posting the series each day till Sunday.

Here is the first part. Enjoy and learn as Mr. Sanjo shares his story with you 🙂 Do share your thoughts and experiences if any in the comment box, have a beautiful day.

Series 1. The trials of Mr. Sanjo. (Preparation for interview)

Living in a country where every occurrence seems to be attributed to a possible cause can be very challenging. Even when you can’t find a job or a potential wife, everyone feels you should go for deliverance. My neighbourhood is not left out of this ideology; everyone already looked down on me. They had written me off after two years of rugged experience in the job hunting market. They couldn’t see any miracle changing my lot; even the best magician in town would find my case hopeless. To some people, it was either I had been bewitched or I was suffering for the sins committed by my ancestors. However, all I could see was a little light shining amidst the darkness created by unemployment.

As a graduate of Mechanical Engineering, I have traversed the length and breadth of the south-western states in Nigeria. I have had my own share of interview invitations and aptitude test of various kinds. It all ended the same way, being rejected can be frustrating and I have learnt some hard lessons.

  1. Improve your Skills.

I was humiliated at an interview in one of the leading factories in Ogun state. I applied as a Graduate Maintenance Officer and was shocked when asked to fix a car. The fault was very simple, a plug in the engine had been removed and I was expected to find and fix the faulty plug. I just stood there; I didn’t even know where to touch. I suddenly went pale.

I took the challenge and decided to apply as an apprentice at a local mechanic workshop. This sparked rumours that flew along with the wind. Some people thought I didn’t finish my degree, others thought I was simply frustrated and had given up on finding a real job. Everything they said fuelled my determination to succeed. It was a very humiliating experience for me but I learnt the hard way, the dirty way and even so in an in-conducive environment.

  1. Network

The unemployed populace in Nigeria today, is largely limited by the amount of information they have. I have friends who returned to their hometowns after graduation and as a result, their proximity to gainful employment is very minute. Even those of us in the so called cities, without networking; it will take a miracle to find a means of livelihood.

I woke up every morning with the feeling that I had really been be-witched. Matters became worse when my fiancée got married. Yes, she left me the very day she saw me in the dirt and oil stained mechanic uniform. There and then i knew it was over, I was no longer the guy who wore nice shirts and pant trousers, my suit life was practically over. I kept in touch with my friends on LinkedIn, Face book and Naira land. We always shared information on job openings and after two years of apprenticeship, I was good to go. Luckily, I got this invitation from a big company in Lagos. I got the information from a friend and when I got the text, I felt a butterfly in my stomach. My heart suddenly began to race and something told me, it was my turn.

  1. Research the role and the Organization

It was important to think about how well my experience, interests and skills fitted the job and the organisation so I had to gather as much information as I could on the company. I would be interviewed for the position of a Maintenance Officer so I tried to prepare myself well for the role. From snooping around the internet and with the help of a few contacts, I found out there had been a huge turnover in the vacant role. Either the subsequent officers were incompetent or there had been a problem with the company’s maintenance department. I prepared myself well and was determined to succeed.

  1. Be Prepared

As part of an interview preparation, I have learnt to anticipate questions I might be asked and then prepare answers to the questions. This includes finding out what form the interview will take, e.g. single, panel, group etc.

On the whole, everything was set and I already got the description right. The last time I missed my stop in Lagos, It was suicidal. I was fully prepared for the interview such that I eventually slept late. The interview was going well and I was answering questions and making a good impression at the interview. Everyone seemed impressed and when asked how much I would like to earn, I suddenly heard a loud bang. I had been dreaming and the noise was from my neighbour who came knocking as usual to borrow my pressing iron. Alas, it was 7:35 am already!!! I jumped up and ran through the house like a confused fellow. Now it is confirmed that I need deliverance, how could I have overslept? Will I make the interview today? Clearly, this must be the work of my enemies.

The Trials of Mr. Sanjo is an article series designed to inform, entertain and educate readers on the prevailing issues in our work environment. It is a skillful mix of real life experience and professional counsel.

Picture Courtesy: @Omojuwa

The Elders’ card

I could see she was trying her best to contain her anger. “Don’t raise your voice at me, I have every right to demand for my money.” she said to the man who seemed to be in his mid fifties.
She on the other hand was in her late twenties.

“Don’t disturb me,” the man replied rudely and loud enough for every one in the vicinity to hear. “Should I turn myself into change”? At this point I knew what was happening and where it was going. I shook my head. I knew how the young lady felt: torn between losing her cool and giving the elderly man a good piece of her mind or keeping quiet and taking in his insults lest she be labelled rude, spoilt and untrained for talking back at an older person.

I would see the end of this, I thought. He kept talking, all the while shouting at her. “You are just a nagging old man,” she shouted in return, finally losing her cool.
“Me, a nagging old man? How old are you?” Here comes the card, I said to myself. Yes, I knew where this was going. “Don’t you have my type at home? I can see you were not raised properly,” the man continued.

“Just give me my change,” the pretty lady replied, exasperated. “You are a rude old man, everyone here knows I’ve been talking to you politely while you’ve been shouting at me like I’m a kid. Please, I’m not a baby. I deserve some respect. Stop shouting at me and give me my change!” Thumbs up gal, I grinned. Seeing that no one around rebuked the lady, he gave her the change and she left.

If you are from a country like Nigeria where respecting your elders is something instilled in you from when you could talk, then, you would understand what transpired above and the lady’s dilemma. Here, many rude people get away with treating others with disrespect because they are elderly. You are not supposed to talk back at an elder, shout at them, or rebuke them. When there’s an issue, they are always right and you are always wrong.

Your parents are not the only parents you have, every elderly person is your parent. Hence, if you came across an elderly person outside your home and you disrespect them, even if you were only asserting your right, they would pull out and play the famous elder’s card: the “don’t you have my type at home?” card. Then, they would rant and rant about your lack of home training. If you were not careful, others who don’t know what transpired will join in telling you, “you never talk back at an elder”, “did your parents not train you”? You will eventually leave, frustrated and angry that a rude person just got away with disrespecting you in public.

A rude person is a rude person, whether or not they are elderly. While I am all for protecting our culture of respecting elders, I think the elders should also know everyone deserves respect irrespective of their age. You can’t go about bullying and disrespecting people because you are elderly. Some would even go about cursing when they are wrong.

I understand how the lady felt because I, like some other young people have been in a situation like that at one time. On those occasions, I take the “Omoluabi’s” (who would translate that for me) way out. I just walk away. On one occasion I couldn’t stand it and gave the elderly man a piece of my mind. Yours truly ain’t perfect 🙂 but because I had to shout at him in return at a point, I didn’t feel good. I felt I could have controlled my anger and should not have given him the permission to spoil my mood.

No one in the vicinity rebuked the lady, every one had seen the elderly man’s horrible behaviour and just couldn’t fault her. Unlike some young people who would start a shouting contest when they can’t take it anymore, she didn’t raise her voice at him save for when she told him he was a nagging old man.

I still believe in respecting our elders but I think the next time an elderly person plays the elderly card with me, this would be my reply howbeit without raising my voice. “Yes, I have elderly ones at home, infact plenty of them, but they are not your type because they are not rude and obnoxious like you”. Then, I’ll walk away. I’m very sure I would still wake up the next day hale and hearty 🙂

On a more serious note, tell me if you’ve ever had a fracas with an elderly person outside your home. How did you handle it ? What is your take on rude elders? How would you handle the situation above?

When does Virginity start

“When does Virginity start”? I laughed, really? When does Virginity start? Just when I thought I had heard it all. I looked up from what I was doing to look at their faces, many of them were serious, waiting expectantly for the answer.

Then I realised some of them really did not know, for all of their exposure to the world of love and sex, many of them were actually lost and without a clue as to what it was really about and then the question was no longer funny.

The guest speaker in charge of the questions and answers segment then explained what virginity meant. It was a teenage program on love and sex organised by a church for two primary and secondary schools. The questions and answers session was the best part, they had so many questions .

I got talking with Adeboun one of my girlfriends about the program and the fact that the teenagers had so many questions about sex, relationships, and love. She said “isn’t that all they are preoccupied with at this stage? It’s best they ask in programs like this so they can get the right answers”

I agreed with her saying most teenagers won’t ask their parents such questions and she reminded me of the fact that, if the teens don’t ask? Shouldn’t their parents talk to them about it ? “Yes, why wait for them to ask”. She talked about some Parents being rigid, believing sex, and relationships should not be talked about.

I told her in this part of the world most parents don’t bond with their kids easily, love is not easily expressed, hugs and kisses between child and parent is still quite awkward to some. Most teenagers find it easier to talk with their friends than parents. Thankfully things are changing. We are more expressive, more “new school”. However there is work, business, careers which take up the time of most parents and make them unavailable to their kids and teens.

That leaves this important task to Schools, Churches, “NGOs” and interested individuals. The only thing some teenagers know about love , sex and relationships is what they hear in Music , see in movies/music video and read in novels. Half of which is Junk.

Should parents ignore their teens and let their values be shaped by these? Who answers the many questions in their mind? Thank God for the Schools, Churches, Mentors, Teens Club etc out there who are filling the void left by some parents but the first place a child should learn from should always be the home, the home should be a haven where the child can find answers to questions, where they can be free to express themselves and discover who they are.

If we say something is wrong with the home and most parents lack parenting skills? What about us? What kind of parent, aunt, cousin, uncle, sister, brother are we?

When was the last time you had a chat with a teenager around you? Or bought one a good book on sex education, love and dating, or take one to a teen’s program?. I imagine the girl who asked that question is my teenage sister, I imagine how naïve she is, I imagine a wolf telling her she is pretty, how much he loves her, how sex is his way of expressing it, how it can’t affect her because her virginity hasn’t started, how she believes it because she doesn’t know when virginity starts, doesn’t even know if she is being taken advantage of.

It happens, kids and teenagers get molested , sometimes right under their parents nose. Some of us are parents, some are parents to be, there is more to being a father/ mother than supplying material needs, sometimes being able to take care of your child’s emotional needs is what matters the most but it’s unfortunately where many are still lacking. When a child begets a child what do you expect?

One of the most important things to ask one’s self when getting married is not just do I want kids? How many kids do I want? But am I ready to raise a child? Do I have what it takes to raise one? As a parent you should be in your child’s list of “my five best friends’ and if you are not, you should know those on the list because they would play an important role in your child’s life

You have to make time for that child irrespective of your career or business. If you don’t bond with them when they are kids , bonding with them when they are teenagers would be difficult.

We are all responsible for the teens around us, whether as parents, uncles, aunties, god mothers/fathers, teachers, counsellors, mentors, youth pastors/leaders etc, but as a parent if others fail, you cannot afford to fail and no one is in a better position to raise and be your child’s keeper while you are alive than you. Rise up to your responsibility.

Seven lessons to take you into the New Year

The year 2014 has been different things to different people, for me it’s been an interesting year and one filled with Lessons. Some of which I will be sharing here.

Always have positive expectations: Expect the best of life, believe good things will happen to you. We attract what we believe. Some once said instead of believing the Universe is conspiring to do you harm, believe that the Universe is conspiring to do you good. If you don’t trust the universe then trust God who says “my plans for you are good, it is to give you a future and a hope”. Don’t go about with negative thoughts believing things will never work out for you, believe good and it will come to you.

Set goals, even if you can’t achieve all, you will achieve some: Have clear goals for each new phase, year, month and each day of your life. It is even better to write them down if you can and do not be daunted by the size of your goals. This year i set some goals for myself and even though i didn’t achieve all, i did reasonably well and even achieved some other things i had not written down but which will make achieving the unmet goals easier in the new year. Setting goals helps you keep your vision and mission in mind, it gives you a sense of purpose and direction to fulfilling that purpose. When you set goals, you give your mind a sense of purpose and it will look for ways to achieve them, and even if you don’t achieve all, you would have grown, learnt some lessons and be closer to achieving your dream.

Sometimes it’s not about the Circumstances but your reaction to it: Circumstances may come your way that will stretch you, your attitude and reaction during these times matter a lot. How do you react to situations or people that stretch you?
Things will not always go as you want or planned, don’t get discouraged. There are days it would seem nothing is working out and all hell as been let lose. It is natural to be disappointed but don’t give up. Don’t give in to depression and become stagnant, stuck, unable to move, don’t let your dreams, goals, and desires go. Hard as it may seem, you need to stay motivated and keep Moving.

When you stumble, make it a part of your dance: You are not perfect, you will make mistakes. Acknowledge them but don’t dwell on them too long. Learn from them and let them make you better and wiser.

Good friends are treasures, you need them: Surround yourself with good companions. Create memories, have fun, enjoy life, cherish the moments. Good friends will always be there for you with a hug, a smile, a gift, a prayer, a word in season, a shoulder to cry on when you need one, a hand to pick you up when you fall. Good friends will want the best for you, they will support your dreams, push you to greater heights, they will believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself and they will be there. Yes those kind of friends do exist, every one needs at least one.

Count it all joy: Easy when the going is good and all is well. How do you count it all joy when everything seems to be falling apart, when you set goals and deadlines and can’t meet them, when your positive expectations are not met, when bad things happen and life throws you all its lemonades? How do you find joy when you have to be strong in the midst of pain? You don’t have to be strong with God; you can let it all out, the tears, anger, frustrations, fears, and burdens. let it out. You don’t have to be strong for him He is strong enough to bear you and your burdens, to give you joy in the midst of pain, teach you patience, hope ,faith and give you true strength.

IN THE END THINGS WILL BE ALRIGHT: if you don’t give up, if you keep believing and keep working hard, expecting good even when things spiral out of control. If you keep the faith everything will be alright you will see. You will come out better and stronger, well equipped with all you need to make your dreams a reality. You will be more fulfilled with a clearer picture of your Mission.

Dear readers, i hope you find something in this piece to motivate you in the New Year. Thank you for always stopping by my blog. Forgive me for not putting up posts in the last two months. Thank you for your comments, likes, mails and all. Thank you so much. I love you guys. Cheers to the New Year, May you soar beyond your imaginations 🙂

Redefining Feminity; who defines you

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This piece was originally written for Presh Igwe’s Redefining Feminity series. Do visit her blog to read the other inspiring entries from other female bloggers. She blogs here .

When Presh invited me to be one of the guest writers for her series “redefining feminity”, my first thought was to title my entry “letting go”, because I wanted to write about an important aspect of our lives. Relationships: the need to let go of wrong relationships.

However, I realised ladies sometimes know when they should let go, they just cannot. Women are said to be emotional beings, more emotional than the men and many believe that more often than not, women are ruled by their emotions, sometimes to their own detriment. It would seem that when a woman is not emotionally okay it affects every other area of her life making it difficult for her to reach her full potential in those other areas.

It has become some sort of fact that a woman’s emotional well being is dependent on the man in her life, who could be her father, boyfriend, fiancé or husband. Most women have come to believe that they are incomplete without a man and would put up with anything as long as they have a man. This is why some ladies stay with abusive boyfriends refusing to let go, some others settle for less than they deserve. Some become yoked with unbelievers; any kind of man would do for them so long as he is a man.

Dear lady, you don’t need a man to complete you. If many ladies understood this it would be easier for them to let go of wrong relationships, the period of singleness would be a time to grow and develop more skills, pursue their dreams, make an impact in their family, their immediate environment and the society at large, instead of mopping around and putting their life on hold waiting for a man to come rescue them.

Sometimes you need space in your life, to discover you, your purpose, your vision and how to accomplish them. You don’t always have to be in a relationship, but you will feel the need to always be in one if you seek your definition from a man. Dear lady who defines you? This is a question you need to ask yourself.

If a man defines you then you would never be truly happy except there’s a man in your life. You will constantly feel incomplete without one, you would do anything to have and keep one, you will put up with a swine as long as he is a man, your emotions would never be stable. You will willingly suffer emotional, physical and sometimes financial abuse just to keep a man. You will believe every lie he tells you, you will see yourself as he sees you and God help you if he says you are ugly, stupid, desperate and not deserving of him. You will believe it and you will see yourself as such because you have let him define you.

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Who defines you dear Lady, a man? Then it is easy to see why many ladies feel incomplete without a man, why some move in and out of relationships like there’s an award for it. This is also the reason many easily fall for societal pressure and settle for any man just because they want to get married.

Dear lady, contrary to popular belief, you are complete without a man, you are complete in Christ. Your definition should come from God and not a man. He made you and though Adam named the first woman, you should let God and not a man name you. Seek your definition from God. Who are you? How do we redefine feminity if we don’t know who we are? You are God’s creation, one fearfully and wonderfully made. You are a king’s daughter one whose name he tattooed on the palm of his hand. The bible says you shall be called by a new name by the lord’s own mouth. It doesn’t matter what the men in your life have called you, they don’t define you. GOD defines you. You don’t need to beat yourself up seeking a man’s approval. You are already approved by God.

You can be who God has ordained you to be, you can live an excellent life, you can achieve your dreams don’t let anyone tell you otherwise or be a stumbling block to your success definitely not a man. Seek your definition from God, he calls me Diadem what does he call you? You are not weak, not a failure, not a dummy, not just a pretty face. Be confident in who you are in Christ , follow your heart, pursue your dreams, grow, acquire skills, live life completely, and you will never feel insecure and settle for just any man instead of the Man.

Be bold, strong, let the world feel your impact , that is true feminity. We are ladies hand crafted by God not just any lady; we are God’s leading ladies. He defines us and we are complete in him.

All Men are not the same.

It is very common when ladies are discussing about men and relationships to hear them say all men are the same “iru kana ni gbogbo won” meaning they are all of the same breed. I have never been comfortable with statements like these. I mean there are over a billion men on earth and some ladies think they are all the same? They are all unfaithful, cheats, selfish, thoughtless, irresponsible, really?

I am not a man but i feel insulted on behalf of the menfolk when i hear this. I hate generalisations; people generalisations. All men are not the same, plain and simple and I believe women who hold contrary opinion are the ones who usually end up in wrong relationships and marriages. They settle and put up with any kind of man because they believe there are no better men out there. They spread the false information to their sisters, friends and daughters.

“What? You want to break up with him because he cheated on you? Look, men are ruled by that thing between their legs, don’t give up on this relationship because of that. It’s nothing new; just make sure you get him to the altar before the bitch does.”

“So he drinks eh eh, is he an achoholic? Where on this planet do you intend to find a man who doesn’t drink? Babe, keep complaining and let other wise babes snatch him o “

“Just because he hit you twice doesn’t mean he is violent. Besides I know you, your mouth is a blade, if it was another man he would have beat you up. He says he is sorry, to err is human and to forgive is divine, forgive him.”

And so on, you hear conversations like these and you pinch yourself to be sure you are not dreaming. There are faithful men, men who are disciplined and are not controlled by that thing between their legs, yes they still exist. There are men who would never raise their hands against a woman no matter how angry they are. There are men who respect their woman, and are not threatened by her level of success; instead they cheer her on helping her live to her full potential.

There are thoughtful men who treat everyone around them with courtesy, men who don’t trot around like peacocks in the name of pride. There are generous men who don’t make the women in their lives feel like beggars or maids. There are responsible men who know what it is to be a parent and a husband. These men are not perfect, so don’t go searching for a perfect man but these men are good men and they have not gone into extinction. Please, let’s stop insulting the men by saying all men are the same . All men are not the same.

The truth in a changing world.

wpid-oyerr.jpgHello everyone 🙂 . Today’s post was written by one of my readers Busayo Oyejinmi. Enjoy and reflect.

We’re in the days when information has become easily accessible and it seems everyone has an opinion on every subject. In these days of social media with easy access to blogs, twitter, facebook etc and e-books, one is faced with a lot of views which are in the varying category of ‘wrong’, ‘right’, ‘seems right’.

Another thing is that social media platforms like twitter make readily available the opinion of people we’ve admired from afar, those we consider great or who have much importance attached to them and those we’re just getting to know from these platforms.

The importance and advantage of the internet age is undisputed, however there is that part of it where one is trying to outdo the other in a bid to disseminate information. We have religious institutions, individuals, organisations etc promoting their works and beliefs. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that so much is being said or written, the negativity comes in when what is being disseminated doesn’t conform to the truth especially when it sounds logical.

One of my concerns is with the spiritual information flying about. I’ve come to realise that it’s time for christians to go back to scriptures, the unchanging truth, be filled with it, understand it, and determine what it is we’re holding on to so it can serve as a sieve for all the messages being passed to us. It has become very important to understand and determine what one stands for. The saying that if you don’t know what you stand for you’ll fall for anything, though may have been over-used is truer now than ever before when the in thing is to conform to popular opinion. It’s important that we stand on the living truth of God’s word, not the half-truth, not the cosmetic truth, not the truth as we want it but the truth as God says it.

This piece is to create an awareness that so much is being sprung on us and we need a sieve or a measure to determine which to accept because taking all in is dangerous. We need a standard and one has been made available by God himself, so let’s hold on to that which will last.

Quotes that speak to my mind in relation to this issue:

What you feel isn’t always real and what’s real you don’t always feel. Trust the truth not your gut- Rick Warren.

Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time- Mahatma Gandhi.

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth- The Holy Bible.

I found this piece concise and true. There are so many things making their way into our heads and minds. I wouldn’t want to write a piece of my own on the issue so I’ll just add this quote by Marshawn Evans which sums up my thought on this matter.

“There isn’t anything on TV, in a book, or in the mouth of a pastor that can replace 1-on-1 time in God’s presence”

For christians I believe nothing beats having a personal time with God, hearing him and letting him guide you. In a world where truth can not be defined and keeps changing, where everyone has an opinion many times based on what gives in their denominations, it is unwise to solely live by what others say. Take time to double check.

Kindly share your thoughts. I’m sure the writer would love to read them. Have a beautiful week.

Roots before branches, faith to take chances

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Today, I am sharing the inspiring story of a 26 year old lady. For someone born without a silver spoon and had no precedence of excellence in her family, she aimed high, worked hard and diligently remained confident even in the face of daunting challenges. She set goals for herself, refused to stay in comfort zones, stretched herself and today is living her dreams.
Sandra was born into a poor family; she lived a good part of her childhood years in a face-me-I-face-you-apartment. The kind where 20 something number of people shared a toilet; where you queued to take a bath and if you stayed longer than necessary someone was sure to rain curses at you.

Sandra went to a public secondary school and finished in 2005 at the age of 17. By this time, her elder sister had married at the age of 19 having stopped her education after Secondary school. Sandra got admission into the University of Lagos to study accountancy. She started her ICAN exams and became chartered when she was 23. This was a first in her family and her mum was beginning to tell her to settle down, telling her, “All these books is too much.” She didn’t settle down. She had not worked hard and paid for her ICAN fees herself just to sit by and wait for a man to come marry her. She had a vision and was going to accomplish it. At a time when she was writing her ICAN, she had to audition for a role in Tinsel to raise funds to pay her fees. She got the role but eventually didn’t take it. In her words, “The life on TV is a different world entirely. Smart and saucy as I am, I can’t do some certain things.” She did Radio presentation for a while but wasn’t comfortable with that too. She left and God provided the funds she needed at that time through other means.

Getting a good job after one’s degree is not a piece of cake, ask any graduate still combing the streets of Lagos. Sandra is very tenacious, a realist but very optimistic. She did her best in packaging her CV and cover letters and worked on her confidence; she is one confident lady, she wears it like a second skin. Hence, she clinched jobs that she was not even qualified for. God only had to grace her by giving her an opportunity and she made the most of it. She worked in a bank at a time but she held her vision close and knew she could not settle for that. Her vision was to start her own accounting firm. She left the bank job for a job at a top accounting firm which was one of her goals. She needed experience if she was to ever start her own firm.

Sandra had a watchword that kept her going as she applied it in her life. It is a thoughtful one and has become one of mine too. “Roots before branches, faith to take chances,” she knew she needed to grow roots professionally, spiritually, emotionally and in every way.
She kept training herself professionally. At a time I used to tease her that she was always writing exams, or undertaking one training or the other. She worked hard at her firm applying her knowledge, and learning all she could from her Boss, a brilliant accountant.

Spiritually, she developed a sound relationship with God which enabled her focus on his will, gave her strength during difficult times and helped her believe in herself at a time when she wondered if an ordinary girl like her could achieve her dream of being the owner of her own firm. She learnt to follow his leading which has helped her in many ways than one.
Emotionally, she developed self confidence. For a lady who grew up the way she did, she has no low self esteem. And in a world where people believe thin is prettier,  she has no issues with her body. She is what some will call fat, but she is so comfortable in her skin that she has never lacked suitors most of them Handsome thin young men. She has poise and carries herself well. She accepts and loves herself the way she is hence makes it easy for others to love her.

She grew roots and when chances came, by faith she took them. She excelled at her job, she attended meetings with top CEO’s on behalf of her firm. She was earning seven figures half a year. She was growing from grass to grace. She was living on her own and everything seemed perfect plus a rich boyfriend came into the picture. The pressure from home began again, settle down and marry, what else do you want? You have a good job, and a rich boyfriend who just proposed. But she felt something wasn’t right. A good job wasn’t her own firm, and the rich boyfriend seemed perfect but Sandra had grown spiritually and knew the absence of peace meant something was wrong. In her words, “He was a Christian, he loved me and so did his family, my mum was crazy about him. Why not? He was RICH and loved me but I couldn’t confidently say that he had a relationship with God”.

She could settle for this, the job and the rich boyfriend. She had done well for herself. Who would have thought she could even get here? She was the star in her family. Everything in her screamed settle, take this easy way. But a tiny part of her differed, don’t let go of your Vision. The rich boyfriend brought his family to hers but after the introduction she still felt no peace, she went to her pastor for counselling because she felt her mum wanted her to settle down so much, she was letting it cloud her judgement.

She told her pastor about the introduction and her lack of peace. After listening to her, he said that’s all the confirmation you need. A persistent lack of peace means God does not approve. She left his office and cried profusely when she got home. She was mad at God, why did you let me go this far when you knew you did not approve? She screamed at God as some of us are prone to do when we feel God is unfair.

The weeks that followed were miserable. She gave God a piece of her mind each day as she cried daily. One day, she heard the Holy Spirit say, but I did tell you. “No, you didn’t,” she replied angrily. I did, he repeated gently and told her when and how he did. He had told her two things clearly back then. One was, yes she should keep aiming high because her vision to be successful and own her own company was part of his plan for her and two, the rich boyfriend was not the right man for her. She remembered it clearly and realised she had simply not listened to the second instruction because she was in love. “I can’t forget that day,” she told me. “I was humbled and I sought God like never before.” After days of being with God, she called the rich boyfriend and broke off their engagement. It was not easy. Everyone called, his mum, her mum, but she stood her ground and bore the pain. Everyone said something was wrong with her, as if that was not enough she quit her well paying job. It was time to start her own company, she had grown enough roots but taking that chance was not as easy as she had thought it would be. She made sure she gave her Boss no reason to dislike her, he was an experienced man and she would definitely need him later.

Taking her chances paid off, God brought another man whom she gave a hard time before saying yes to. “I had to test and try him,” she said, “plus he is Ijebu and I am from the east, no age gap between us. I had to be really sure about him.” She had known him for a while but never knew he was her man. He, on the other hand had known from the beginning and stayed her friend until she agreed to date him. He became a pillar of support when she started out on her own.
When she became discouraged during the first year of starting her firm, it was his advice that stopped her from quitting. I remember the look in her eyes when she narrated this to me. “It got so bad I could not make my hair”.

Starting the company took all my resources. All! I longed for my former job. I was so discouraged, I had only one client and the first audit job I did for him was just 300,000. A far cry from my previous salary. Dammy was a God send. He told me, “this is a test, this is when I’ll know if I had what it takes to be an entrepreneur”, he said I had to prove that I did. I had to remember that this is my dream, one that has God’s backing.” “I thank God for Dammy, I would have quit without him, he stood by me and his input in the firm is what has brought it this far, Dammy is a first class student, extremely brilliant, the company and I have benefitted from his wealth of knowledge”. Its been a year since she started with one client. Through referrals, the firm has more clients  and she has billed some of them in seven figures. When she remembers her first pay from the firm was 300, 000 , she marvels at how far God has brought her. Her tenacity and refusal to give up on her dreams has paid out. She has a growing  firm ReelVerge LTD ( http://www.reelverge.com) and  is still training herself professionally.  She is starting her masters as well, and has yet another Job. And she is getting married to Dammy, November this year 🙂  .She ended the story with, “God is faithful.” I could see she was searching for words to adequately describe his faithfulness.

Dear readers, don’t give up on your dreams whatever they are. Ladies especially, please don’t wait for a man before you start living. Live, seek your betterment; know God and a man will find you. Grow your roots and when it is time, take your chances. Dreams still come true in this part of the world.

PS: If you know any one whose story inspires you and can spur others to success as well and you want to share, you can write about them and send me a mail at
motunolami@gmail.com. Let’s tell your story

#Leave the single ladies alone

wpid-dddsholape.jpgOf all the social media platforms I’m engaged in , Facebook is the most abandoned. Apart from sharing my blog post on my wall or the ladies page and the occasional posting of birthday wishes on a loved one’s wall I hardly ever open Facebook. No I have nothing against Facebook I just find it a little boring.

It was one of those days I was bored and had time to kill, I got a Facebook notification and instead of ignoring it like I usually do I opened it and for the first time in a long time sat down to read what was on people’s mind . On and on I scrolled and then I saw “Diane is engaged” Wow! Nice, I thought as I clicked on the comment bar to post my congratulations

The last comment caught my attention. “what”! I thought, the person wrote “VICTORY AT LAST … ” Like seriously? Victory at last? Was Diane’s Singleness at 26 a battle? Diane had had two relationships which didn’t lead to marriage. After her university education she proceeded to do her masters, met this young man and some months later he proposed. She changed her Facebook relationship status to engaged. She had never lacked admirers, she is just 26 so what was the battle over which victory has been won? Singleness after her University education? Singleness at 26?

It seemed like an harmless comment but for me it mirrored how society views a lady being single after school or at a certain age. If Diane was 30 perhaps the person would have wrote” thank God the curse is broken! Jericho has fallen!!” and probably launched into tongues . Makes you wonder why some people turn and accuse single ladies of being desperate, when most people think any single lady from 26 upwards is waging a war with the devil or has serious issues.

It reminded me of how careless people are in their words and actions towards single ladies thereby increasing the pressure on them to get a man. “When are you getting married”, “When are we coming to eat rice”? “Time is going o” ? And then some proceed to tell her her age like she lost her birth certificate. I once told someone it’s wrong to keep asking people when they are getting married repeatedly and carelessly, when they are ready and want you in attendance they would send you an invitation. If you are so hungry for rice go buy, cook and eat. Last I checked it is still an affordable commodity

While we advise Single ladies not to let society or anyone pressure them we should also tell people to mind their business and leave the single ladies alone. She knows she has to get married. Yes! She has not forgotten she is 32 and yes she completely understands what menopause is all about. She knows Susan her kid sister’s friend who lived next door is married with two kids. She ran into them at the mall the other day. She doesn’t need anyone’s thoughtless and careless comments echoing in her head at night while she cries herself to sleep.

Don’t add to a single lady’s headaches and then turn and ask why ladies are so desperate to marry. Most of them won’t be if you and I left them alone to live their lives, pursue their dreams, invest in themselves as they make the most of their life before meeting their man. By the way, who are we to define when someone should or should not get married like we wrote the blue print for their lives?

If you care so much about them and worried about their singleness, pray for them and you don’t need to make an announcement of that either like some people do, take them out to fun places where they can meet people , advise them IF it is necessary, do whatever it is that is right to do but please let’s stop the pressure, leave the single ladies alone!

caveat emptor: how protected are you?

I looked at my wrist watch as I walked into the supermarket. It was 12:45. The cosmetics section was crowded, there was no room to even inspect the items on the shelve. Can I have an anti dandruff shampoo I asked the attendant beside me. He passed one to me. I took a quick look at it, it was not a name I recognised but it looked nice. This would have to do I told myself , no time to start looking for familiar names. For someone going to the salon to do braids and wanted to be back home on time, I should have been at the salon hours earlier. So I paid and left.

I got home much earlier than I expected and after admiring my hair and re collecting the comments about how fine it was I finally stopped looking at the mirror and moved on to less vain matters. I remembered the shampoo and decided to take a proper look at it. I read the instructions paying attention to the one written in french to see how well I could translate it to english. All good I thought save for the expiry date. I didn’t like what I saw. The expiring date was less than two weeks away.

So the sales guy thought he could sell me a soon to be expired product because I was in a hurry? I just made braids which meant the expensive shampoo would be useless even before I had a chance to use it. At the price I bought it? No way was I letting this go. I still had my receipt intact and off I went to the supermarket the next day. I was not angry, I realised the sales guy may have been oblivious of the expiry date.

I gave my receipt to the head sales manager and told her my complaint. She saw the product was still intact but knew she could not easily spin me the “goods bought in good condition cannot be returned jargon” I’ll like to have another one I said. “Okay” she replied. I was a regular customer and she knew it so she was polite. She brought out all the products on the shelve one by one and each had the same expiry date. “Its all the same” she said. I’m not taking this back I replied calmly. “We don’t exchange one type of product for another type”. ” Besides its still two weeks away one of the sales attendant added”. “She just made braids” the head sales manager told him. “What do we do” she asked? “I already told you what you can do”. She could see that though I was calm and smiling I wasn’t leaving with that product. “Help me here she said”. “I am, but you don’t expect me to buy a good that would be useless and potentially harmful to me” I replied.

What are you going to do with that lot anyway I said pointing to the ten others. “Sell it” she said. With that expiring date? “Yes, we have customers that would buy it”. I shook my head and kept my thoughts to myself. “Please, since you won’t help us by taking it can you come back in the evening the guy asked”? “Okay” I said. Bought my toiletries and left.

When buying a property or renting one, the buyer or his solicitor is expected to carry out due diligence of the property in question which includes a thorough physical inspection. Some solicitors carry out searches at the land’s/ probate registry, the CAC,courts , do all that is needed but fail to carry out physical inspection of the property. Incidents over the years have made it abominable for a solicitor investigating a title not to carry out physical inspection of the property. whether you are a solicitor or not, you may have seen this on some properties “caveat emptor” like many know already, it simply means let the buyer beware. It’s a red flag.

However in our day to day living we buy a lot of goods but don’t always exercise the same kind of caution we would if it were a landed property for so many reasons. One of which is that we expect goods bought to always be in good condition because manufacturers owe consumers a duty of care, breech of which could result in an action in negligence.

As a result of this, coupled with the tests and approvals some of this products must undergo, most manufacturers are careful with their goods. Although the word Manufacturer have been defined by the courts to include , wholesalers and retailers , it only applies to those who have to perform some work on the goods other than mere distribution. Since wholesalers and retailers can not easily be made liable under negligence, they have a field day doing what they like , their only concern being their profits

This is a universal problem and even developed countries have not been able to deal with it 100 percent. Nigeria like most countries have laws that are meant to protect the consumers interests, one of which is the consumer protection Act which established the consumer protection council. (which many Nigerians including the literate don’t know much about) how do people seek redress when they don’t even know if they have enforceable rights. There is also the fact that the law itself is not detailed enough as the rights are not clearly defined. And there is the usual problem of enforcement.

People here most times would readily suffer monetary/health loss than go through the stress involved in seeking a redress. It is that bad. Suppliers of goods, especially wholesalers and retailers know this so they do not care so much about what they sell. One easy way the store above could prevent having expired goods on their shelves if they cared to without incurring much loss would have been to put those goods on sale. They could for instance slash the price by 20 percent and sell it to those (hair dressers and Stylists in this case) who make use of the product regularly. Problem solved, less loss incurred. But no, most sellers always want to have full profit even at the expense of people’s lives and health.

Until the Laws are amended and their flaws dealt with to reflect specific provisions on contractual items, not excluding the liability of wholesalers and retailers who form an important part of the supply chain, Until people are ready to do whatever it takes to hold producers and sellers liable for damaged, expired and defective goods, the common law’s rule of caveat emptor is still the best consumer protection in Nigeria. No matter how much of a hurry you are in , no matter the no of goods you have to buy always check the expiry date of the goods you are buying (as for the goods that don’t carry expiry dates that is a story for another day. Go for the ones that do)

So what happened to the shampoo I brought? I decided to let the lawyer in me take charge. Politely but firmly I told the store manager I wasn’t keeping the good. To cut the long story short, all the goods were taken out of the shelve, (this was what I was really after )the supplier was contacted and new orders were made. so I and other prospective buyers of that good got a new product that would expire October 2018. It took 5 days to make this happen but it did happen. While we wait for the government to make our consumer rights more defined, and easily enforceable, on some rare occasions like this, we can stand our ground and amicably get redress but the safest bet remains caveat emptor. You are responsible for your health and that of your family, pay attention to the goods you buy. Life no get part two 🙂 you are your own best keeper.

My blog community and I

One of the writers whose blog I follow had a baby this week. And I was excited, truly happy for her, like I would have if it were a member of my family. I realised some of the people I’ve met on the blogosphere have become more than just some person online, but have become friends.

It is amazing how mere words can connect people; how we can find a common ground through them, in words we form a bond, forge a friendship, and for some it even feels as if we’ve known each other for years.

Ordinarily i am wary of strangers (even though I’m a friendly person) especially on the internet where any and everything goes. I don’t schmooze with just anybody on social media. I totally ignore messages from the male species who have nothing to say but simply stalk you because you are beautiful. However, as a blogger you can’t just erect a wall around you shutting out everyone because there are people who reach out to you because they genuinely love your writing, because your words truly inspire, challenge, and entertain them . They have laughed with you, cried, hugged you, patted your back through words, and they only want to connect with you beyond the blog.

While you may be a private person, You have to be receptive to these people who take time (time is money) to read your posts and on some occasions even drop a comment/feedback. One has to apply wisdom and be quick to tell the difference between these people and the irresponsible lot on social media. I only respond to and seek people with common interests, values and who have good heads on their shoulders.

Socialising on social media is like dating. There are times you meet someone and you have high expectations, you share some correspondences and you get excited but after sometime it wanes , you move forward searching for the right person, other times you hit gold, you meet this someone, and you really do connect , the friendship is not rushed, you will both be here for a long time, so you take it slow, you may not say hi for a long time and at other times you may leave comments on every of their posts, mail them, write a post together or feature each other on your blogs.

Whether your friendship is a flurry of activities or not, you both know you connect and always will. You may, or may never meet, but you both know your friendship is real and somehow they are a part of your life. You will always be connected by words.

Blogging has brought lovely people my way. Not everybody on the internet/ social media is a freak. Many of my readers have amazed me, some fuel my muse. Some have shared their lives with me and opened up to me on certain matters that I wonder who I am to be custodian of their feelings, fears, thoughts and experiences . When a stranger tells me “you don’t know how glad I am to connect with you, how much you have helped me”. I forget about social media freaks and I’m happy I put myself out here. Because your words are a part of you and every time you post them you put a piece of yourself out there. I’m glad its been worthwhile

I think today I’m just grateful for the people blogging has brought my way. Yes there are psychopaths on social media, stalkers, people with evil intentions, people with emotional issues, ticking bombs waiting to explode, those ones who take some of your thoughts plus other readers comments personal and become nuisances (Thankfully our paths have not crossed).

When you think of all these, you can’t blame some of those who choose to blog anonymously. Writing puts you out there, sometimes it makes you vulnerable but there are also wonderful people on blogosphere, people who make you keep writing even when your muse goes on vacation and I’ve found a good number of them .

I totally love the blogosphere, the wonderful writers I’ve met and those I would still meet 🙂 . Sometimes when I’ve been too busy to view my reader, I make it my reward after a busy day or week. There are so many wonderful writers churning out great posts . And I have great readers as well. To my lovely readers, thank you for letting me into your homes, offices, your mind , thoughts , thank you. Its been a pleasure.

In the spirit of this post I have decided to introduce three more writers to you since I haven’t done that post about my favourite blogs 😉 check out Livelytwist she blogs at , http://livelytwist.wordpress.com/ her consistency makes me green with envy lols, Versatile Naija, she blogs at http://malemika.com/about/ and ifemmanuel who blogs at http://ifenihinlola.wordpress.com/ the last time I introduced three blogs to my readers , I got positive feedbacks about the blogs. You will love these three as well

Do share with me what your experience has been like on the blogosphere as a writer or reader or as both. Have a nice weekend

Live your dreams

wpid-screen_20140406_200141.jpgI was reading John Grisham’s “The Confession” when a seemingly normal paragraph made me pause and after thinking for some minutes, I wrote this piece. If you have read this post, “https://diademstots.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/if-readers-are-leaders-what-about-those-who-dont-read/ then you know that a simple sentence in a book, novels inclusive can spark thoughts, ideas and so much more in my head.

The paragraph was, “…After high school the kid played one year of football at a junior college, then dropped out…working at various jobs and spending most of his spare time in the gym, where he ate steroids…he boasted of becoming a professional bodybuilder, but eventually grew tired of the work. He married a local girl, divorced her, moved to dallas, and then drifted to Houston. According to the High school yearbook, class of 1999, he planned to own a cattle ranch if the NFL thing didn’t work out. It did not , nor did the ranch”…

It reminded me of my secondary school days, we didn’t have year books but we had “slum books” which was usually a well decorated higher education or fancy journal for the highly “tush” students titled slum book. This was our own version of a year book.
It contained a couple of questions which you were supposed to answer after which you attached your picture and at the end of everything, you dedicated the page to all your friends, family and even your enemies. Some dedications take another page entirely.
Amongst the questions which, looking back now, contained a whole lot of silly things like, “have you ever been kissed? If yes by who? Your first boyfriend? Your current boyfriend? And a host of others I need not bother you with, (these were the questions we were always eager to read when reading anyone’s page in a slum book. It made for good hot gist on a boring day 🙂 ) There were, in addition, the sensible questions that centred on your future goals, ambitions and dreams.

While some of those dreams, goals and desires were not realistic and nothing to write home about, some even plain silly, most were sensible, real, maybe lofty but achievable.

So sitting down and staring at that paragraph I wondered how many people were living the dreams they wrote about. Some are dead today, some didn’t go to the university, and stopped learning completely both formally and informally. Some got pregnant and got married right after school. Some got with the wrong crowd, totally messed up their lives and became touts. Does this sound familiar to you? Ever gone through your year book or slum book and wondered whatever happened to this guy who has gone from most popular and most likely to be successful to a “nobody”?

Life happens, you say and so I thought. Life will indeed happen, things may not work out the way you originally planned, circumstances may spiral out of your control, things you never envisaged may occur, but its up to you to either give up or keep fighting. Whatever happens, you have to remember this. You have a right to the life of your dreams, fight for it, go ahead and live it.

Make decisions today that would draw you closer to who you want to be in ten years time. Decisions you make today will set in motion the course of your life for years to come. That is how powerful our choices are. It is for this reason that every decision from simple decisions like what you eat, drink, places you hang out, to weighty decisions like the skills you would acquire, courses you would take, whom you date/marry, who you choose as friends, how many kids you would have, where you choose to work or live matters. Every choice you make today is a determinant of your tomorrow.

Your decisions most times determine what happens to you, how much of your dream you would live and what becomes of you.

Whether you believe we are really the ones who decide what happens to us, or we are pawns in the hand of nature with life throwing whatever she likes at us. In the end, you cannot afford to fail and lay the blame at life’s door. People will not sympathise with you. They would instead point at people who have been through the same challenges as you, with similar circumstances and came out stronger.

From now on, start making the right decisions, make choices that are beneficial or as they say, make choices that your future self will thank you for. Fight for your dreams, live life.

Ps. The best choice you can ever make in my opinion is the choice of staying true to God. By the way, John Grisham’s “The Confession” is a good read. One of it’s central theme and issues raised is the Death penalty. Thank you for reading, have a beautiful week and stay awesome.

Mortality

Today’s piece was written by @blackyafrika, he blogs at http://www.tymeandtyde.wordpress.com .

MORTALITY

Kokumo had travelled over seven seas and seven mountains
And bathed in a boiling pot of sulphur
Just as the old senile man had advised
In that broken voice and line filled face
That seemed to have seen a couple of centuries.
That faithful dawn
Before the first cock crow
As he mixed a concoction of ash and grounded tortoise shell,
Snake teeth and the scrotum of a Billy

Kokumo, you must drink this,
Said the old man.
Did you not hear what they call me?
They call me, Mangivolo, the Death slayer.
I have seen generations come and go
Yet, Death is afraid to get me.
Death is a bastard, Kokumo.
He has no mother, no father, no siblings and no home
And so, he delights in making the children of man like he is.
Didn’t Kokumo hear that this old man could help him do it?

The old man bent over in a fit of cough
But the dried stick he was leaning on didn’t budge
Weren’t both of them sons of the same mother?

Kokumo, after he had slept in the evil forest
And had intercourse with Mangini, the mad woman
Was given a necklace of cowries
To tie around his waist
And told to paint one of his eye black whenever he wanted to sleep
For according to the old man,
Death hates cowries and hates to see one who looked like him.

Who could say the old man lied?
No one had seen Death
And survived.
Maybe except the old man.
He claimed to have conquered Death
And everyone seemed to believe him
Who wouldn’t?

But Death is a trickier old fellow.
Or wasn’t it on Friday last that Kokumo was speaking
To a girlfriend on the phone and didn’t look where he was going?
Wasn’t it on that fateful day that he inadvertently stepped on a banana peel
That was left by one small boy on the footpath?
Wasn’t it that day
That as Kokumo fell,
Death pushed a stone to Kokumo to cushion his fall?
Wasn’t it the same stone that Kokumo fell upon
And his head got smashed?

Alas! There was no one to rush him to the nearest hospital.
As he grew dizzier from the blood loss,
He searched frantically for the cowries
But he could not find them.
It was then that he remembered that he had been in haste
That morning and had left the cowries under his mattress.
His hands fell to his sides in despair
And he could hear Death’s long and cold laughter.
He turned his head
And for the first time in his life he saw Death.
He opened his mouth to scream
But no sound came.
As his blood dripped slowly to the ground,
He understood why those who have seen Death
Never came back to tell the story.
Alas! The old man had lied
No one could conquer death.

Musings

It’s 11.00 am on a saturday and you are on your way to see a friend you had not seen for a long time. You also planned to go see a movie after leaving your friend’s place even though you haven’t made up your mind which. You are thinking of seeing A Million Ways to Die in the West or The Transformers. You smile, you love weekends very much.

“Omo mi sanu mi” (my child please help me) you hear someone say. The smile freezes on your face. You already knew who it was. You see her everyday on your way to work; same clothes, same spot. She utters the same words as she stretches her hands to passers by. “Here she is again at 11.00 am on a weekend,” you say to yourself.
You have seen her at that same spot several times as early as 7.00 am. This time, you feel your anger rising as it usually did everytime you saw her.

This time also, you are ready for the debate.

“Why didn’t you give her something? She’s just a poor old woman trying to survive.”

“That is the exact reason i can’t give her anything. Because I do not understand what she did in the morning and afternoon of her life that she has to be here everyday begging!”

“Why does that anger you so much? What does it matter what she did? she needs help now. You always give to people, why is she different? She’s very old”.

“She is different because she is not helpless like those kids and those sick people. She is obviously healthy. Have you seen how neat her clothes are? Have you looked closely at her skin? She doesn’t look like she is suffering. You want to tell me she has no kids? No family? Where was she when her mates were working and toiling towards their future?” You queried.

“Life happens, you know? What if she is barren? What if she is a widow? What if she has no family and never went to school? What if she had no money to start a trade? So many things could have happened.”

“Yea, right,” you snorted. And then you sighed. What if it were all true? No! You say to yourself after some minutes. “Did you look at her well? Whatever happened, she has a choice. She can still get a job if she wants to. She’s not that old and she is very healthy. If she can stand there 5 hours a day every day, she can get a job. And don’t ask me what job. She can get a job but she prefers to stand there every day relying on her old age to provoke sympathy in people. Its so fake.”

“There is no convincing you”, the voice replies.

“Yes, there is no convincing me otherwise,” you reply bravely and continue, “Because no matter what you think, we are who we are today because of the choices we made yesterday and our choices today would shape our future. She had a choice when she was younger and still has a choice now. She has chosen to beg as an easy way out”.

“I’m not sure you’re doing the right thing”.

“Well it would certainly be wrong to give her anything with so much anger and disdain in my heart. People should make the right choices when they are young so they don’t become like this later . Don’t worry. So many people give her money, so let me keep mine for those who really need it”.

You have arrived at your friend’s house and the voices in your head have gone silent. Your anger was gone. But like yesterday you wondered why some people easily resorted to begging. Yes, there was poverty in the land and all but some other people in their position still found something to do no matter how little. How did people come to lose their sense of dignity?

The other day you saw a young man prowling all over a park. His job was to seek buses that were filled, pray for the passengers and then ask them for money. Another form of getting money from people under the guise of religion. People of course wanted to get to their destinations in peace and gave the prayer warrior (he never preaches, so you can’t even call him a preacher) offering. There were those who dressed in white too, dangling little bells, asking for money so they could bless you with Osun’s blessings.
You shake your head. Life’s mysteries and diversity.

“Are you alright man?”
Taken aback, you open your eyes. “You’ve been standing there with your eyes closed for five minutes,” your friend, Pete says.
“I’m fine,” you reply and smile.
“Well, come in,” he says, drawing you inside. The aroma of good food pervades the whole room. Pete’s wife is a good cook. You take in the sumptuous meal spread all over the table. And in that moment, gone was the old woman, the prayer warrior and the Osun worshippers. It was time to attend to seemingly more pressing issues.

Young Nigerian emerges one of the world’s 24 most exceptional young leaders

LOUIS ADEKOLA

LOUIS ADEKOLA

I love to celebrate and encourage people, I believe there is a seed of greatness in everyone hence I cheer the loudest when any of my friends or loved ones start a worthwhile project. Some of my friends say I’m a motivator and a source of inspiration for them *grins from ear to ear*

I’m just a believer of the fact that greatness or success does not happen in a day, its an accumulation of our every day choices, the passion we put into the things we do, our will and determination, hardwork, our ability to go the extra mile and our acts of kindness.
As a result, when I see young people committed and working towards being the best they can be, making impacts in their families and community, I celebrate them because I know they are on their way to greatness.

In light of the above I agreed to post this piece when it was sent to me, more so because I know the young man the piece is centred on. It’s my way of celebrating every young person out there making an impact in our world. The whole world may not know you yet, but the ones whose lives you touch daily will never forget you. So today, let me introduce you to one of such persons.

ONE OF THE WORLD’S 24 MOST EXCEPTIONAL YOUNG LEADERS

Louis Omolayo Adekola has been selected as one of the world’s 24 most exceptional young leaders and will be representing Nigeria at the Merit Next Leadership Programme organised by World Merit which starts in the United Kingdom on the 20th of July, 2014. The 23 year old man hails from Ijan-Ekiti in Ekiti State but has lived most of his life in Ondo State.

After his primary education at Edu Educational Centre, Akure, Ondo State, Louis proceeded to C.A.C. Grammar School, Akure, Ondo State where he graduated in 2005 at the age of 14. From there, he proceeded to Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State where he studied Educational Management and graduated in the year 2010 at the age of 20 as one of the best graduating students both in his department and in the entire Faculty of Education.

Apart from being an intelligent, proactive, creative, and innovative young man, Louis proved himself as a highly responsible, forthright, resilient and dutiful young man to the extent that he became his University’s Ambassador representing the varsity at training events as well as competitions where he won several awards for himself and the university. His academic acumen is adorable and his passion for excellence in the areas of education, culture, leadership, gender equality and community development is Laudable.

Louis’ first volunteering experience was at the age of 10 when he was a Junior Secondary School student. He was a peer influencer with the Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) in the campaign against child abuse and human trafficking. He was a member of ‘Youth for Christ’ between 2005 and 2007 where he was actively involved in educational and medical outreach projects. At Adekunle Ajasin University he was a member of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and SIFE – Students In Free Enterprise (now Enactus); an international organization that combines entrepreneurship with community development and the mantra “…a head for business and a heart for the world” perfectly reflects their objectives.

He is a youth delegate to the Nigerian Economic Summit, the Nigerian Youth Leadership and Economic Summit at Abuja and in 2010; he received the International Award of Excellence in Entrepreneurship by SIFE. After winning the regional edition of the NBC National Debate, he emerged one of Nigeria’s Top 10 debaters in 2011. During his National Service year in 2012, he was part of the Community Development Service (CDS) group on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) contributing to the actualization of the eight MDGs. While working as a Student Counsellor in Lagos, he facilitated visits to some orphanages.

In February 2014, he led the Merit Nigeria team in executing March for Merit in Akungba Akoko; a sensitization walk on “Better Education For All” with over 50 volunteers. He trained over 100 tertiary institution students on “Community Development and the importance of Volunteering” in March and in April, he began a weekly radio show on Orange 94.5 FM dwelling on “Tackling youth unemployment in Africa”. He also emerged one of the top 20 finalists in the 2014 UNESCO Worldwide Youth Multimedia Contest with his article titled, “Education for Cultural Coexistence and Global Unity”. On the 17th of May, 2014 he carried out a Wellness and Fitness project titled “Health First” and also organized a party for rural children in Ijare Community, Ondo State on May 27, 2014 (Children’s Day).

Louis Omolayo Adekola has been confirmed a suitable candidate for Merit Next; a year-long accelerator leadership programme starting in the United Kingdom in July, 2014 and ending in the United States of America in June 2015. ‘Merit Next’ is a leadership program developed by World Merit which provides a unique forum for connecting ambitious and determined people to share their knowledge and ideas. Thousands of aspiring social entrepreneurs are working together beyond beliefs and borders and Merit Next is one opportunity for them to develop themselves both on a personal and on a professional level. In the course of this programme, participants of this programme will, through mentorship and collaboration, carry out a global action project which will be presented at Washington DC next year to venture capitalist and world leaders.

Louis Omolayo Adekola, a humble young man, is currently a Nigerian representative for World Merit, a GEMSTONE Ambassador, member of the World Youth Alliance as well as the United Nations Youth Association of Nigeria. He is the Chairperson of the International Youth Council, Ondo State Chapter and Team Leader of the Ambassadors of Africa and The EmpaGems. He is a career and educational consultant, a public speaker, an ‘Agent of Change’ a trained actor and dancer who loves to share useful information and knowledge with others.

Thank you for reading, this piece is dedicated to every exceptional young person out there, keep impacting your community and world. You can send louis a mail at louis.adekola@yahoo.com or visit http://www.worldmerit.org to know more about world merit. You may follow louis on twitter @prinxlouis . Have a beautiful week ahead, this week put your best efforts into your work, studies or whatever project you are involved in.

Night will always come by.

Thank God its friday 🙂 . Hope you had a beautiful week. As the weekend starts, I thought I should share these beautiful thoughts I stumbled upon with you all. It’s about Night time, Poetry and Insomnia .

Some days ago @yinkaElujoba unconsciously tweeted on Night time and @tomiwa_ilori replied to the tweet. It was beautiful. I imagined them in my head speaking to each other and I loved it. Yinka said I could share.
By the way, in case you’ve forgotten, Yinka it was, who wrote that fine piece The Ake arts and books Festival. If you missed it, here is the link https://diademstots.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/ake-arts-and-book-festival-2013-the-shadow-of-memory/ Yinka is a fine Writer, Poet and Gentleman.

So here it is. I hope you enjoy it like I did.

NIGHT WILL ALWAYS COME BY

Yinka: But it is still a beautiful night, coming in after a long stroll, night brings us all under.

Tomiwa: All under the pinion of the day’s weight. Night collapse days into a plain hue of coloured dreams, into mustards of hopes

Yinka: But nights like this were made for poetry when the muse is kind. The muse knows that dark will always come by, so she lurks in there, chin in hands.
Ile l’a poti n joko de idi.(The stool waits patiently at home for the Buttocks)

Tomiwa: oke okun o ni bi re, baba omo lo lomo(He cries, he dies, he has somewhere to go but the father’s child owns the child)
Death knows how to drag grief along to swim in gloom so does nights drag heavy thoughts

Yinka: Truly nights puts us all under, and as someone said “the insomniac knows that the night is long”
Eni kan lo mo. (Only he who is affected knows)

Tomiwa: nights of an insomniac are so because of a stretched mind that conspires against the eyes.
Ti eti o ba gbo yikan, inu ki baje. (The news that comes to the ears, affects the mind)

Yinka: Oro lo so. (You have spoken well)

Beautiful, right? I’ve on some occasions teased Yinka about his love for the night. He likes to take strolls at night, and when he gets in, usually works all night, reading, writing stories, poems, articles or developing codes.

As for me I love the serenity of the night, some times I get up to meditate, or pray, other times I wake up compelled to write , I try not to read at night but I sometimes do. But most days I simply let the night lull me to sleep.

Tell me, what part of the day do you like the most? Are you Nocturnal? Do you cherish the quietness of the night and while others are sleeping, get up to keep the night company? Are you one of those who love to work, read, write, meditate at night? Or do you cherish the night because she welcomes you into her embrace after a hard day’s job, whispering in your ears while rocking you to sleep uninterrupted with her peaceful blanket draped around you?

Thank you for reading, have a lovely weekend.

“The insomniac knows that the night is long” originally used by @toluoloruntoba in his bio.

If Readers are Leaders, what about those who don’t read.

 

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We have heard it said times without number that readers are leaders. I always like to say it this way “readers are leaders depending on what they read”. Just because people say they read doesn’t always mean they are reading something beneficial.
That is by the way, back to readers are leaders. Some of us love books, some people can expend their last cash on books. Some literally feed and thrive on books that they develop this.

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Some are like me, who can pass over an owanbe, outing, shopping and those other stuffs that we ladies love to do for a day indoors with a good book. Yes I love books like that . I’m that lady you would give a good book (to) as a gift and I won’t go rolling my eyes at you. (Dear future hubby this does not apply to you, I want them shoes, bags , trip to paris kinda gifts 🙂 ) My experience with books has been something like this.wpid-pddpoye.jpg

I love books so much ,if you asked me (on the spiritual side now) to list the ways God speaks to me, I would include via books or reading generally. Books have contributed to the woman I am today, they have shaped my thoughts, broaden my horizon, expanded my knowledge, and impacted my life intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and in so many other ways. They have also entertained me and kept me company on some occasions.

In view of the above, one would expect me to be amongst those who scoff at those who can’t read beyond the first two pages of any book, not even if it is written by Steve jobs and contains “the secrets of my riches” I mean the richest man that ever lived wrote three of the books in the bible and some have never even read through any of them.

Those of us who love to read like to nod our heads when we see quotes like “A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking(Jerry Seinfield) , “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self chosen ignorance” (confucius) , “If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of book” (Roald Dahl), “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them” (Leming Snicket) “Only the weak minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry” (Cassandra Claire) Ah ah, I know some of you are nodding your heads already.

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You know such quotes right? So we nod and smile and wonder how those who can’t read at least one book in a month made their way to planet earth. We don’t always say it but some of us think such people need help, we go ahead and put them in a box and label it “lower species”.

In Africa for instance , the intellectuals have come to take reading very seriously, perhaps it has something to do with that quote that stated if you want to hide a good thing from a Black man, put it in a book.
“Readers are leaders”, you hear over and over again. “If you want to be successful, then you must read at least a certain no of books written by successful people. Hence those of us who read subtly look down on those who don’t , we are on our way to greatness while they of course would remain behind.

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Take a deep breath, it is not always true and no, don’t crucify me yet. Our problems usually stem from believing everyone has to conform to a norm and fit into a certain mould, the norm here being readers are leaders. If you can’t read, then you have a problem , you are not intelligent and will never be successful.
I know people who don’t share my love for books or reading, people who honestly cringe at the sight of a book. They try to read sometimes but get bored, yet they are intelligent, smart and succesful in their own right.
However, I noticed that while they don’t love to read books and hardly do, they attended seminars, conferences, workshops, they watch instructive videos, listen to audios, (some great books have audio versions). They add value to themselves through other means.

Some others don’t mind reading, they just can’t handle lengthy words(articles) these set of people make up for it by putting their social media activities to good use. They follow twitter handles, facebook pages and blogs where knowledge is dished out in small doses they can digest.

I try not to label those who don’t read books as lazy dummies, but I do not support those complacent people who don’t seek knowledge through all the other outlets where it is sold (most times very cheaply). If you fall into this category, start putting your internet time to good use, follow twitter handles that you can learn something from.

Some days ago, i came across a successful entrepreneur’s handle and she was tweeting tips on how to grow small bussineses. Now there are many people out there who have small businesses they are trying to grow, who don’t read books, don’t attend seminars and instead of following handles like that would prefer to follow handles that tweet “10 secrets to satisfying your partner in bed” .

Read blogs that deal with issues that matter, that deals with whatever it is you are trying to learn, acquire knowledge, get informed, and at no cost too. There are so many out there, from those that deal with leadership, to maintaining good health, the spiritual, and so much more. There is free information at your disposal, countless short articles on virtually all topics, just ask google , and please don’t just feed on junks and claim to be reading (some spend all day reading entertainment gist, gossips and sports) aint gonna make a leader out of you.

And if you hate reading so much that you can’t even read blogs, magazines and short articles. Then attend conferences, seminars, workshops, get audios, listen to podcasts, watch videos. Whatever you do, make sure you are learning and adding value to yourself.
In the end, while it may not be absolutely correct to say all readers are leaders , it is correct to say in the words of Mortimer Adler that reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.

Thank you for reading, if you got this far, you are definitely a reader 😉 don’t forget to share your thoughts, do you think those who don’t read books are totally hopeless cases or do you think it’s fine as long as they are stimulating their minds and gaining knowlege through other means? . Special shout out to all Book lovers, you guys rock 🙂

Don't you just love this?

Don’t you just love this?

Some other interesting quotes
A man is known by the books he reads -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reading is to the mind, what excercise is to the body- Richard Steele

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.-Joseph Brodsky

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers- Harry S. Truman

The greatest gift is a passion for reading- Elizabeth Hardwick

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries -Descartes

When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food. Desiderius Erasmus

Study to show thyself approved…- Apostle Paul.

 

IMAGE CREDIT: GOOGLE IMAGES

 

Dear men, our grievances.

Photo courtesy of goggle images

Photo courtesy of goggle images

Sometime ago, one of my readers sent me a message saying, “I have some grievances against the men and I feel you should blog about it.”
“Okay what are they?” I asked and I spent the next couple of minutes laughing as she told me about her grievances. The way she stated them and the seriousness with which she did was so funny that I could not but help bursting out into laughter. Here was one aggrieved lady, I thought. I promised her, after our discuss that I would try to do a piece on it.

I’ve seen men do the things she mentioned and I thought its time they were told (for those who would claim they did not know these things are wrong) / reminded for those who do know but just couldn’t be bothered. I went a step further and asked some other ladies about their opinion and their own grievances and here we are.

Dear men,
Our grievances.

PEEING IN PUBLIC

Why do men pee in public ? Roadsides, behind people’s houses, walls, markets etc. Anywhere it hooks them they just bring their johnsons out and pee without batting an eyelid. There is hardly a day you don’t see a Man peeing in a public place and you are forced to avert your eyes from the embarrassing scenario. And no, this does not apply to just “illiterate men” hawkers, conductors or the other men considered to be at the lowest rung of the society ladder. Many men who are at the middle and top of the Ladder are guilty of this as well.

Some would park their cars, get out and go pee at any available place. Did I just hear a man say, “well, when you are very pressed you have no choice?” No sir, LADIES (emphases on ladies) get pressed but they exercise self control and hold it or find a bank or eatery and use their rest rooms. How would you feel if you go out with your lady and she asks you to park , walks to the nearest wall and start to pee . You can’t even imagine it right? So why do men expose their privates and expect every one to be cool with it. Imagine such men who of course didn’t wash their hands going about shaking and touching others with it. Yea yuck.

I saw a male friend’s personal message on bbm a day before writing this piece. He wrote I can never pee or eat on the roadside, it is disgusting and below my ranks. I thought, “Yes that’s what I’m saying.” So if there are Men who say it is disgusting, imagine what it is to a Lady. Dear men, please put a stop to this.

SCRATCHING YOUR PRIVATES IN PUBLIC

Why on earth do men scratch their Mr johnsons in public because it is itching them. Ladies don’t scratch their breasts in public just because it itches them .

One lady said “I don’t even think it itches them, I feel it’s a bad habit they have refused to deal with, It takes self control to refrain from the act it’s simply bad manners”

Another lady puts it as the “packing habit.” An habit many Men developed during their teenage years when it was supposed to be cool. Well it ain’t cool no more and ya all grown up now (pardon my english) so please kindly drop it.

SAGGING

This is one I take very personal, I mean I get all shades of anger mixed with disgust when I see a grown up man sagging. I just don’t get it. I don’t even care and won’t bother you with the history of sagging, or whether or not it is actually “cool”/ a sign of having swagger, just this one thing if you want to be a boy and sag please do us the favour of putting on clean boxers.

KEEPING LONG FINGERNAILS

While I am not so bothered about a man keeping Long finger nails, so long as they are clean. Some ladies do, to use the words of one lady she said “why do some men grow their nails ? It is not fashionable no matter how they try”

Then there are men who don’t grow their fingernails but guess what? They eat them. They eat them so well you would think they are eating beef. You take a look at their hands and you wonder where the fingernails are.

Dear men, your fingernails are obviously important to some Ladies. Please groom them well.

SPITTING ON ROADSIDES

Haha , Oga when you are not pregnant. These days even pregnant ladies pop sweets and chew gums to keep from spitting all over the place. It’s just not right, what if you miscalculated the distance plus timing and it lands on someone’s body? Please if you are guilty of this, always carry a pack of sweets.

Special shout out to Adetola , (For making me write this piece) Lily-carol, Busola, Bisi and all of the ladies who shared their opinions with me.

Dear Reader, thank you for reading and if you have other grievances 🙂 feel free to mention them in your comments. This week think of one habit you know you should drop and start dealing with it. This applies to the Men and the Ladies. Have a great week ahead.

21!!! 21 Lives Snatched in a Blast!!!

Hajel's Musings

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1

“Abba, takalma na sun chinye, dan Allah ka saya mun sabo”, Amina said sitting on her dad’s knee. Musa contemplated her request for new school shoes, he looked at the ones on her feet, truly, they had holes in them, you could see they had been patched several times and his wife Zarau probably bought them second-hand from Wuse Market. He shook his head, then smiled at her, he said “this evening, when I am coming back from work, I will bring you a pair of brand new shoes!” She smiled, gave him a hug and ran to meet her mum, who was fanning the flames on their kerosene stove. Musa got into his unpainted cab and drove to Emab Plaza, where he was on the cab rank.

2

Binta was very happy! Finally, her father had agreed for Dayo to marry her. She knew it was because her…

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NLS from the Veterans’ view.

wpid-images.jpeg

Hello people , today’s post was sent by one of my readers (anonymously) specially for the 2013/14 students of the Nigeria Law School. Here it is.

To my friends at the Nigerian Law School with Love.

My phone rang. It was one of my friends during my university days. He had recently been admitted to the Nigerian Law School. I was happy for him. Who wouldn’t? But the call wasn’t just to inform me of his admission, he wanted to know how I had survived the Nigerian Law School. As an NLS veteran, (please, blow me some air 🙂 ) I proceeded to advice him. After the call, my phone rang again.

It was another friend with the same question. Even a friend on externship came to my house asking how I survived the ups and downs of NLS. So, here, I shall be telling you the secrets of the almighty Bar Finals. Maybe not the secret sha. But, here are some time tested tips of surviving the ups and downs as it was passed to me by a friend who had made it. He is a veteran too. We had both been there, seen it all and done it all. And we both came out successful. As the Apostle Paul said, I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished the race.

Here are three time tested principles that could see you to a successful completion of the Nigerian Law School. Every NLS survivor would agree with me and maybe a few would dissent. It’s allowed.

1. Read Hard.

Of course, if you didn’t read those books, how on earth would you know what was written therein? Brethren, rest not on the arm of flesh. In other words, don’t rely on the handkerchief one old man in your village gave to you to rub your face during the exam. You go rub tire and nothing go happen. Can you give what you do not have? Besides, reading hard doesn’t mean you have to go gobbling up the irrelevant materials.. My, oh my! Are they many in NLS!!! eg “Quick Way to Pass This or That”, “Possible Questions in the Bar Finals”, “Questions That Law School always repeats”, In fact, I remember vividly that folks were buying a dude’s notebook which he must have made while a student of the law school.
Oh my! I found it hard to read mine, how in heaven’s name was I to read and understand the jottings of another man? Again, reading hard doesn’t mean you read without resting. People do faint due to the accumulated fatigue brother! Stop forcing it in when your brain becomes saturated. Go talk to a crush, it helps.

2. Pray Hard.

As much as I will advice you to believe in God and His only son, Jesus, I cannot force them on you. Not only is He God, He has been tested and trusted. But whatever god you believe, pray like you have never prayed. Who knows? The village people that followed you may just have to change their minds and return to the village.

3. Play Hard.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Play like you have never played before. Play hard, unwind in your own way, gist with friends and not just about law alone please. Go out of campus, sight see, shop and window shop. Law school is too short to spend it being bored. The above three principles have helped men in NLS to live a balanced Law School life. You may be asking yourself why I didn’t talk about food and such other things. Like they say in Turkey or some other country, the name of which I forget, “if you worry, you die. If you don’t, you die”. So, if you don’t eat or sleep, you die. If you eat too much, you will sleep too much and fail! And if you sleep too much, you will fail too. Maybe I have passed across a message a two. Maybe, I haven’t.

Here, I shall end this write up and wish you a stress free Law School experience. And as Alan Quartermain said, “I have spoken!”

PS: I hope the present students of the Nigerian Law school are reminded of these principles because in reality they are not new, they’ve always been in existence, Study, pray, relax. You must have heard them when you wrote examinations in the past.

I would only love to add this (as a veteran too of course 😉 ) do not be afraid of the bar finals and do not be intimidated by anyone. Some people fail the Bar Finals simply because even before the exams they had imagined themselves failing it, they fed that fear and off course as a man thinketh in his heart so is he or so it happens.

Truth be told the Bar Finals is just like your university exams just slightly different. Yes people do fail but then those who pass it are more in numbers so why would you imagine yourself failing? If you have studied hard and WELL not off track, prayed and prepared your soul and body then hey you have what it takes to pass the exams. So go succeed!

Enjoy your NLS experience, Learn, make friends, create memories, have fun. At the end you will be glad you did.

Do share this piece with the Nigerian law school students you know and if you happen to be a law school veteran as well, feel free to drop your 2cents it may go a long way 🙂 have a lovely week.

The Four Questions “blog tour”

Some time last week I was invited to join a blog tour by @tessbabee who nominated this blog in her own Blog tour post. she blogs at http://t.co/HBIHBFLm9l and writes a series at
http://www.makingthemostofme.blogspot.com/

Though I don’t write as much as I should I accepted to be a part of the tour. So here we are. I’m supposed to tell you about my writing process, nominate some other writers you would love, and what makes me tick and generally just wow you. Okay I added that last part 🙂

WHAT AM I WORKING ON? Uhmnn, at the moment I’m working on a plot that has been in my head for a while, which I hope to get to finish and post on this blog as a series.

In the meantime I juggle posting on the blog with my work. I occasionally write articles for people (usually friends), magazines, bulletins and the likes. I also created a facebook page recently where I write on issues that concerns ladies. Check it out here https://www.facebook.com/diademstots4ladies

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
Its simple, straightforward yet captivating. Doesn’t seek to “impress” so its real, seeks to reach everyone so its simple you can’t get lost reading it irrespective of your “age” or gender. Seeks to show you the beauty in words without confusing or making a dummy of anyone. It has my touch and style which is unique because there is only one me 😉

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
Because I love to write, because I have something to say, and I know you will love to hear the words as they speak to you (just tell me you’ve read the blog and you don’t love it. you did? I thought as much) I write because I want you to see the world through my eyes like I want to see them through yours too. ( This is one of the reasons I encourage and post write ups from my readers)

I write for so many reasons, I write to inspire, encourage, make someone smile, keep someone company, make someone think, help someone be the best they can be.

HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK.
There are days I get an idea or a thought comes into my head and takes up permanent residence in my head until I put it down. When I finally do, my writing juices flow abundantly.

There are also times I may start a piece and not finish it for days because i’m stuck,( yea that happens once in a blue moon) or my work leaves me no time to finish it. I leave it and then come back to it.

Whether I write it in a stretch or bit by bit I don’t always draw an outline when I write my blog posts. I only do that when I’m stuck. it helps to clear my head, free the words and puts things in perspective. I however draw outlines when its a voluminous work(e.g a novel, a journal article) and not a blog post

And my Nominees!

I know lots of amazing writers and I hope to one day do a blog post about some of my favourite writers/bloggers. In the meantime let me introduce

HAJARA PITAN
This amazing woman is passionate, enthusiastic, and full of life. A lawyer, speaker, Entrepreneur, wife and mother I marvel at how she finds the time to put together her posts.

I’m still yet to find a post of her’s that I didn’t learn something from maybe on life, leadership, purpose, entrepreneurship, places, faith, and her interviews? Whoop. I can write a whole post about Hajara and her blog so I better let you go visit it yourself. She blogs at http://www.hajelpitan.com

Dr. N.
She writes fiction and non fiction. Her stories keep you coming back for more. They are not just stories but also contain valuable lessons. There’s more! You get to have free information on medical issues. This Doctor, Wife and Mother shares her experiences and that of others in a way that cannot but touch you. Visit her blog at http://www.drnsmusings.wordpress.com

Naija Husband.
You must have heard about a particular naija couple who are out to change the view many people have about a typical Nigerian husband and wife. They do this very well, if you have not heard of @naijahusband and @naijawife you have been missing 🙂

You may laugh a lot when you visit @naijahusband’s blog but you would have received good “counselling” . A great blog especially for singles and newly weds to visit. He blogs at http://www.naijahusband.com

I hope you enjoyed reading about my writing process. Don’t forget to visit these blogs, and my dear female readers, if you are on twitter you may follow these wonderful writers as well @eloxie , @inthemidstofher (okay I really should write that piece) Do have yourself a beautiful week.

Defining beautiful

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Hellooo everyone, today’s post is exclusively for the Ladies. What truly makes a woman beautiful? What is beauty? This thoughts were on my mind and I decided I would write a piece on it and call it “defining beautiful” who is a beautiful woman? The piece was supposed to be for a ladies talk.

I got busy and kept putting off writing the piece, I struck up a conversation with one of my regular guest writers about it , shared my thoughts and she sent me this lovely piece to work with. There was nothing much to add to it in my opinion. It mirrored the thoughts in my head and was just perfect. I decided to share it here as well. So here it is, read, enjoy and share with every lady you know.

Defining Beautiful by Feyikemi Adagunodo

How do you define “beautiful”? Is it in the face-the dreamy eyes, the high cheekbones, the flawless skin?

How do you define “beautiful”? Is it in the body- the perfect figure, the rightly placed curves, the fabulous dress sense?

I ask again, sweetheart, how do you define “beautiful”? Is it the way the world has stereotyped it, making us all feel like we are trying to live up to some unrealistic standards, consistently trying to attain an illusory award?

Are you solely driven by the constant need to be slimmer (or fatter, whichever one is “in” at the moment), look better, dress better or otherwise obtain the approval of some vague, nonexistent fashion goddess?

Darling, is that all there is to beauty for you?
Because you see, for me, all of the above is just the icing on the cake….the icing falls flat without the cake to hold it up, if you get what I mean.
Don’t get me wrong, physical/outward beauty is awesome and looking good is good business..I am, after all, a very beautiful young lady *wink*

The problem starts when you think that is all there is to live for, when you are miserable because you feel you are not as “beautiful” as some other people; when you judge yourself by faulty standards; and you choose not to remember that beauty goes way deeper than that. Because it does-it goes deep, deep down to your soul, who you really are at the core.

Your attitude, your disposition, your value system, your mentality, your mindsets, the way you treat other people, the way you handle what life throws at you…all of these add up to what “beautiful” really means.
True beauty means we like what we see on the outside, but more importantly, we can see something to like on the inside as well.

No matter how much physical beauty attracts, the attraction fades quickly enough when there is no substance on the inside to sustain it.
Read books-stimulate yourself intellectually; acquire skills-don’t be a pretty liability; develop compassion and reach out.
people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. These are just a few pointers.

While you’re on that diet, that exercise regimen; when you buy those make up items, those pretty dresses,(and shoes..ohhhh I do love pretty shoes 🙂 when you get that facial, that soothing massage…remember to pay equal attention to the inside as well. Nobody truly appreciates the icing without the cake.

And please, inner beauty is not an excuse for looking drab and miserable on the outside. By all means, look good, dress well, smell fantastic. We are, after all, ladies- the crown of God’s creation! Let’s look like it. Let’s be the best kind of beautiful, the kind that stems from the inside and reflects radiantly on the outside.

Your true beauty takes its source from GOD, you are made in His image and after His likeness. I particularly like how the God’s Word Translation of the Bible renders Psalm 139:14a-
“I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.”
Don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.

Thoughts on beauty.
Proverbs 31:30 (The Message)
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

Proverbs 11:22-23 (The Message)
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful face on an empty head.

Walter Mosley said:
“That’s how powerful you are, girl…You are pretty, but pretty alone is not what people see. You are the kinda pretty, the kinda beauty that’s like a mirror. Men and women see themselves in you, only now they are so beautiful that they can’t bear to see you go.”

Mandy Hale said:
“Outer beauty pleases the EYE , Inner beauty captivate the HEART.”


Dear lady, be beautiful!

I say it again be beautiful, do have a lovely weekend. Shout out to FEYIKEMI ADAGUNODO you are one beautiful, beautiful Lady.

ALAKE

Alake twirled and twirled
Shaking her buttocks to the beat
Making the young men stand at attention
She had them in her grip.

Alake spined and spined
Swaying her hips left and right
The young men’s eyes darted left and right in unison
She made the drummers go wild,
the drums screamed giving full vent to their passion.

Alake swirled and swirled
Losing herself to the music
Like an aquarium fish who suddenly found itself in the ocean
With her hair flying all over her face,
She looked like a wild goddess.

Alake paused for a moment
Fire burned in her eyes like a forest set on fire in the harmattan wind.
The fire spreading rapidly, consuming everything in its wake
Every man’s eyes was fixed on her
Consumed in the flame in her eyes.

She rose, slowly, beautifully. Alake,
Their hearts did a somersault
There she stood in all her glorious beauty
Beads of sweat glistened on her body
Fire, water, the elements came together.

The young men held their breath
Even the old men were enchanted
The drummers stood like a statute frozen in time
But Alake’s gaze was fixed on just one man.
For only for him did she dance.

Girl Interrupted!!!

It’s over a month since the kidnap of the chibok girls, let’s not keep quiet until our voice is heard everywhere, our prayers answered and the girls brought back home..

Hajel's Musings

Photo courtesy zainabusman.wordpress.com Photo courtesy zainabusman.wordpress.com

I was 10 in JSS 3
We were young, happy and free of worry
Our songs and laughter carried by the wind
Our dreams were wild
Ambitions unlimited!
In New Bussa where school was
There was the River Oli
But we did not fetch water there
We fetched water from the bore-hole in the middle of school
For a 10-year-old girl
It felt like 10 kilometers from my dorm

If the senior girls really wanted to punish you
They told you to leave a bucket in front of the dorm
Take a spoon to the bore-hole and use it to fill the bucket
I usually started to cry before I started the journey…
Two hours of walking from bore-hole to dorm with an almost empty spoon
All the other senior girls were begging on your behalf
And you were released!

School was so much fun
And so…

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What’s in a Language

I hardly watch TV but it was one of those nights when it was just Mom and I at home, so I decided to keep her company by gisting with her in the parlour. The movie she was watching caught my attention. Its Title, “Ede mi” (my language) video quality and sound was good. Acting was impressive and it was a mixture of english and Yoruba and subtitling was good. One hardly sees a lot of yoruba movies with all that intact. I put my laptop to sleep and focused on the movie.

It centred on a young yoruba couple (yoruba is one of the ethnic groups in Nigeria, Yoruba refers to the people and the language ) who lived abroad but came back to Nigeria. They had just one child who took ill and got worse inspite of numerous treatments and medications.

Trust the Hubby’s mother-in-law to take charge like most typical yoruba women. She went to make “findings”. Her solution? They have an “oro idile” (household sacrifice)(I hope I translated that correctly) that ought to be performed for every child born into that family and the Nigerian Americanah couple had not done the sacrifice . The child would only live if they did. Nigerian Americanah wife told her hubby she didn’t know what “oro idile ” meant and was not about to carry any sacrifice. Her hubby who truly loved her took his time to explain what it meant and assured her it was not only a harmless sacrifice but also just a tradition.

Nigerian Americanah wife ran to her Mummy who shunned her sister’s advice and told her daughter she would not be part of an uncivilised fetish tradition. The child grew worse. Nigeria Americanah wife panicked and told Hubby they could perform the sacrifice. Off they went with the head of the family to see the herbalist. During the discussion, Nigerian Americanah wife kept asking Hubby what was being discussed. Hubby turned into an interpreter between both parties. You see, Nigerian Americanah wife did not understand Yoruba and of course, could not speak it.

Her mother had frustrated every effort to teach her the language and culture not even when her father had died in the course of a fight over his daughter’s “lack of manners” . He had come home with a friend and his daughter had casually greeted them the “American” style by sayimg, “hi Dad”. Kneeling and greeting elders properly is a big thing for the yoruba people. I once wrote about it here. He had berated her mother the way some men are prone to do. “Can you see your daughter?”. In yoruba land when a child is well behaved the father gets the credit, if it is the opposite then it is the woman’s fault.

She watched her father suffer a heart attack during the fight and later wished to learn the language and ways of his people. Her mother( a yoruba woman) who looked down on the culture and language having embraced the english way of life which in her opinion was civilised and superior would have none of it. Now, many years later, she listened as her husband told her that for their child to live she would have to say some incantations in YORUBA over the sacrifice. Her child’s life depended on it and so, they both hired a tutor to teach her.

On the day of the sacrifice, Nigerian Americanah wife was asked to say the incantations. It was a disaster. She could not pronounce the words right, accent was terrible and she got stuck. The herbalist, shocked and angry, gave the hubby a piece of his mind. Nigerian Americanah wife seeing the herbalist glaring at her and speaking sternly in cold terms to her Hubby panicked and dropped the sacrifice and every one gasped, transfixed. You can guess the end of the story. The child died.

Language is not just a means of communication, it is a peop.le’s identity. Ever seen the joy on the face of a stranger when you speak to him in his language? He would break into a smile and in that moment, you’ve become his “brother” or “sister” . Language is a unifying factor .

One of the effects of Nigeria’s colonization is that the English language and culture was not only absorbed into our lives, it became “superior” as it was perceived as more civilised . The fact that the numerous ethnic groups in Nigeria each had a different language did not help matters. The English language became the unifying factor.

Some people complain now that our languages are going extinct. Some Parents don’t teach their children indigenous language because they think it will affect their ability to learn and speak the English language fluently. They don’t know children actually have the ability to learn at least three languages in their early years. Parents are actually in a better position to teach their kids their indigenous language since a child’s first contact with his environment is from the Home.

I didn’t like the fact that the child died in the movie. It is good to know that my God is multi lingual. So, if my child’s life depends on my communicating with him I can speak any language. However, the movie is a good attempt at emphasising the need to teach our children our languages and culture.

Do you speak your language? Would you teach your kids your language? Do you think our languages are going extinct? Share your thoughts with me. Have a beautiful week.

In the spirit of Easter.

I’ve always loved Easter, no scratch that, that’s not true. While I’ve always loved Christmas, I wasn’t always so excited about Easter , at least not like Christmas. To me Easter was not as fun filled as Christmas. It was just an excuse for an holiday, but holidays meant a break from school work and for that I looked forward to it.

However as I became older , I came to love Easter “much more than Christmas” like I said to a friend days back when he told me “Gimme your opinion on Easter ” what purpose does Easter serve?”. Why would you even ask such a question was the first thought that popped into my head but I decided to answer.
“Easter is what it is, I replied. A period to reflect on the death of the Lord and to rejoice in what his resurrection and victory guaranteed for us.

Easter serves a purpose in fact I prefer it to Christmas,
“Really? How? He asked.
I could see he had not expected such an answer and was curious.

“Christmas has too many fanfare, too much noise and in the midst of it the reason for its celebration gets lost. And then you see every one trying to remind the other that don’t forget the reason for the season. I also feel Santa competes with Jesus in the hearts of some, too much noise (I’m not surprised I repeated this, I have this thing about noise) people just celebrating without knowing the cause for the celebration. Bangas, fire works , Parties. So much Noise. And we have to keep raising the banner “its all about Jesus” .

Not so with easter I continued. “Its quiet, no fuss about cloths, gifts, food and material things like christmas. No santa, just Jesus and the cross”

“No bangas, no fire works. There is Peace and quietness, you can reflect, and celebrate with “sense”. “No jamboree, no faking, for almost three days its just Jesus and Evangelism for some”. Evangelism should not be limited to a particular period but at least during Easter people feel more compelled to evangelize thank God.

“Do you get now”? I asked him. “Jamboree is less”..

My friend however had a different view about this Easter, he is disappointed that the Nyanya bombing and kidnap of innocent school children would occur at this time. He thinks every religion makes so much noise about being peace loving yet where is the peace. “Religion has failed us he said”

I didn’t remind him that Christianity is not a religion, I did not want to aggravate his anger because I could understand his frustration. Nigerians are very religious people, we like to feel sanctimonious, to talk right, but its all talk , no works. Most Christians don’t even know what it is to be a Christian, Christianity for many is a religion, and not a relationship with the father.

While my friend had every right to be angry with “religious people” and at the turn of events in this country, I don’t think this means this Easter is bad. Instead I think it calls us to a deeper reflection, as individuals, families, communities, most importantly for those who are Christians.

It only calls us to more action, to let more people know of his love, there is no one bearing his love in their heart who will kill another, it calls us to stand in the gap against the forces of evil knowing we can pull down “all things that exalt itself above the knowledge of Christ”. It calls us to our threefold responsibility. To, love, preach , pray!

It calls us to build ourselves, marry right and in turn raise good kids and good homes. we should not close our eyes to the evil around us, and rather than just call Mr President all sort of names which does not solve the issue or bring back the dead, we should pray because this has become a spiritual warfare. We should build ourselves, we should be involved in leadership and nation building or support the good men who do. If every good person avoids strategic positions we should not complain when the corrupt, selfish ones get there and can’t make worthy decisions. It’s not in their DNA they don’t know how to.

We should get involved, we should not become like it has been said, “so heavenly conscious that we become earthly useless”. You were put here for a reason, and left here for a reason after you became saved. It is our duty to make our world and the people in it better. We should walk the talk, Love, preach, pray, influence , we know these things. We just don’t do them.

Don’t wait till death comes knocking at the door of someone close to you. What touches one touches all, We should see ourselves as part of the victims of these incidents. This should push us to do what little we can to make things better.

Let’s keep the spirit of Easter alive all through the year and let our actions match our words.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday 🙂 have a beautiful week and don’t forget to say a prayer for someone, your country and the world.

The Secretary.

18677419-businessman-and-businesswoman-cartoon-boss-man-in-love-with-his-female-secretaryTime: 8:02 am.

Place: Office.

Date: Friday, December the 20th.

It was Friday again. I am always in my best mood on Fridays and you needn’t ask why. “Morning dear,” I said to my secretary. “How did the night go? I hope the cold wasn’t too much on you. Go get married soon dear.” She stood up and gave me a warm hug as had become a custom these few weeks past. Just a harmless hug, thought I. Its been cold these days anyway. So, I breezed into my office while she went back to getting ready for the day’s work.

I had just finished saying my morning office prayers when my secretary entered my office and sat opposite me. “You look troubled,” I said, the ever caring boss. She looked at me straight in the eye and answered “Yes, I am.”
I sat back in my swivel chair preparing to listen to what could be the matter with my beautiful secretary when she blurted, “Oga, all is wrong with me O and you are the cause.” I raised my eyebrow and was about to ask how, when she said, “Oga, I love you.”
It couldn’t be true.

Here was someone who knew and still knows that I am married and with a kid. I had always encouraged her to go on dates and enjoy herself. How then could this have come about? She continued, “Oga, I have tried dating other men but the feeling is just not there for them. I don’t feel anything for them. Its you only that I have these feelings for. You are the one for me. I wish we could just be together as lovers. I’ll be satisfied.” I looked at her and smiled, “Lydia, you must be joking. Maybe this cold during this harmattan period is getting to
you. You know that I am married.” “I know,” she replied.
“But I love you. Its only you that I can ever live with. I have loved you from the very first day that you stepped into this office as my boss. I want your care, your love.” Frankly, I was in a dilemma. I didn’t know what to do. I picked up a memo that I had been avoiding all week, raised my head to the young lady before me. “Will you excuse me? I have some work to attend to.” She stood
up and went to sit behind her desk.

After close of work, I hurriedly said my goodbyes and took my leave. I have never imagined cheating on my wife especially not with my secretary. Office romance sucks or so I think. But nevertheless, I have always avoided it. My secretary and I had never had anything to do with each other besides office work. I have always made a point to keep her at arm’s length. Lydia had successfully ruined the weekend. And moreso, when she called me around 10pm, as my wife cuddled close and nibbled my ear. I picked up the phone, said “hello” and the next thing she said was, “I miss you and I am going to let the whole world know that I love you.” My phone was one of those China phones that a person standing ten feet from you hears everything. I have refused to let the phone go. Now, I was cursing my strong headness! Damn!!

I knew my wife heard every word because the next minute, my wife’s hand dropped and her body went rigid.
“Who was that, ?”
“My secretary,” I said.

Ps. This piece was written by one good writer I know who took a long break from blogging. He is back now. Check out his blog. http://www.tymeandtyde.wordpress.com for more exciting stories

By the way this piece though funny, was inspired by real life events. What would you advise the Boss do? Tell his wife what is going on? , ask for a new secretary?(I suggested both) Or?? Have a wonderful holiday.

Love like no other

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A thousand red roses at my door step,
“speaking of love’s fragile yet beautiful nature”
Strolls by the raging ocean.
A diamond ring
“Reflecting the splendour of a heart ablaze with desire”
Dinner for two underneath the twinkling stars
Hand in hand, talking as we dance
“Depicting the communion of two souls as one”
A box of chocolatey sweetness
“Painting the portrait of delight and excitement”

Yet none of these matter
Because all I need is You…

I closed my eyes as I wrote this poem
Knowing that in my darkness you are the brightest light
Knowing that of myself I do not measure up, but He holds me up

Dear God…
Before I met you I was much shorter
Not just in height but in spiritual insight
But your Love tore the veil that blinded me,
Where your blood flowed, your Spirit showed
Showing me sweet secrets, a medley of things to come

Come! Come! You called me…
In spite of my rags and the baggage of my past
Despite the filth that covered me,
My brokenness, my wrong choices…
For I was once called the prodigal son,
My sister was the woman with the issue of blood,

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Yet you touched us…. And called us
Into deeper fellowship, into the depths of the sea
And like Peter I walked with my heart pounding,
Yet I walked to you…
For deep called unto deep
Your yearning for me overwhelmed all my senseless desires

So I asked … And I ask you…
What manner of Love is this?
That He would take my aches and ashes
And with blood paint a picture of hope
That he would tear away the rags and crush all the rubble
He takes my dry bones
He mends my withering soul

By a gentle stream He whispers to me
Not the sweet nothings of mortal love
but rather the echoes of everlasting desire
For out of the heart the mouth speaks and he has nothing but love for me!
The same hands that cradled the stars bleed for me…

A light to my path.

This piece was written by @damilar3

He blogs at http://www.blarrqwyat.wordpress.com

God’s love for you can never be over emphasized, this weekend bask in it.

Much love.

FIND YOUR NICHE

Helloooo been a while right, sorry for the short break. Yours truly had her plate full last month. Its a new month and I believe this piece sent in by Miss Feyi Adagunodo is just what some of us need to kick start the month. Its just as insightful as her last piece. If you missed that you can read it here. Have a great month and be the best of you. Much love.

FIND YOUR NICHE
Adebimpe is a woman of many talents; in fact, she seems like a woman who can do everything. A fabulous homemaker, her cooking abilities would have you biting your tongue in appreciation..not only that, she is gifted with stunning business acumen, running a chain of businesses excellently…her hands seem to adapt to any craft she puts them to as though she knew it from the womb – hairdressing, knitting, baking, just name it and she can probably do it…her voice is like that of a nightingale…and to crown it all, she is a beautiful, beautiful woman.

David is a celebrated teacher of the Word, it’s his calling and he does this with eye-opening simplicity and amazing passion. God backs up His Word with great power and testimonies abound from his teaching sessions, both in his local assembly and through the media. As a bonus, he is a loving husband and caring father, and quite successful in his work outside the church.
He’s called T-songz (his name is Tunde) and he is a whiz with anything music…keyboard, trumpet, drums, there is hardly any musical instrument he cannot play and when he holds the microphone, his vocal skills are just out of this world. Some ladies would have been swooning if not for the fact that he wears his spirituality like a badge, and his love for his wife was an indisputable fact . He’s currently in the studio working on his second album. The first one, released just over a year ago is making waves, enjoying massive airplay and being nominated in various award categories.

There are many more where those came from, but let me stop there and get to the crux of this piece. What do these illustrations (pure fiction, by the way) have in common? How are they different? And, more importantly, how do they affect you?

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Let me start off with something my best friend said recently…He said “you can never be everything there is to be, you can only be everything the Father ordained you to be.” I agree with Him even though it’s difficult. I have those days in my life (and I’m sure we all do) when I wish I could do a particular thing, have a particular skill maybe because I see people around me excelling in those things…but it’s just not my grace. For instance, no matter how much I admire and am envious of athletes, sportsmen and sportswomen, the fact is that I cannot be one, it’s not my calling. No matter how much I respect doctors, nurses, other health practitioners, I cannot be one; I cannot stand the sight of blood.

However, there are things I CAN do, just like there are things you CAN do as well. You are graced. Stop focusing on what you cannot do and fix your gaze on what you can do. You may not be able to sing on key, but can you speak to inspire others? Okay, you have stage fright, but can you write? Can you show care and hospitality? Can you…? Yes, you can, so go ahead and do it. Dig deep within you with the help of the Holy Spirit and find your graces, then discover platforms (create, if need be) to express them.
This calls to my mind the parable of the talents in the Bible, I’m sure most of us are familiar with it..one servant was given five talents, another two talents, yet another one talent, according to their abilities. That’s where I’m going-we all have different abilities, different strengths, different challenges. However, one thing we all have in common is that we are not without talents, we are not without “graces”. Each and every one of us has a value we’re meant to add to the world. Each one of us has a spot, a niche we’re meant to occupy in our generation, and until we do so, it remains empty and we remain unfulfilled. Find that niche of yours (or niches, as the case may be-who knows, if you dig well enough, you may come up with fifteen).

It is very easy to think that because you are not a man/woman of many skills, a celebrated media personality, or you are not a music whiz, then your talent is insignificant or irrelevant. Many times, we sit and mope about the things we cannot do, and yet we refuse to do the things we can do. I am speaking to myself as well, and maybe especially. Just like the servant with one talent, we hide our “graces” and then complain that the world is unfair; because some people have two talents, some have five, some even have ten! (we know those kind of people, right? You just love to hate them) But my message is this-it’s not in the number, it’s in what you do with what you have. It is required in stewards, (not stewards with many talents or stewards with few talents, but all stewards) that a man be found faithful. Stop making excuses, start giving expression.

graceNobody has inferior grace, neither does anybody have superior grace, we just have different “graces”. Celebrate your difference, celebrate your uniqueness, embrace your strengths, and stop lamenting about your weaknesses. Some people are weak in the areas where you are strong, you are weak in the areas where others are strong. We were placed in the world to complement one another, remember, the body is fitly joined together by that which every joint supplies. Dig deep within you (I’ll say it again), find your niche, stay there and impact your world.

Drawing the Line

It broke into my thoughts again, distracting me from what I was reading. The word ‘faith’ in the text must have triggered it. I pondered on it again like I had in the past few weeks and came to the same conclusion. No, I couldn’t accept it as a faith expression. It was a lie. There had to be a line between exercising faith and lying or deceit. It is fast becoming a trend to see Christians doing what some would term weird in the name of exercising faith.

I have no problem with anyone exercising their faith in whatever way they choose even if it means for instance a single lady buying a wedding gown, renting a hall and finally walking down a church aisle dressed in the gown taking imaginary vows without a groom. It may seem crazy but at least they haven’t really hurt or deceived anyone. We all have different ways of expressing our faith and making confessions. I however cannot comprehend someone lying to another under the guise of faith.

I try not to stir or enter into arguments on certain matters always keeping in mind Apostle paul’s admonition not to partake in vain, unnecessary arguments, and considering how easily people want to show their religious expertise and shove their knowledge down the throat of others, it is usually best to overlook some things. Most times we are more interested in stating our pastors and denomination’s position than simply speaking the truth in love.

This has however continued to weigh on my mind as I still ask myself: when exactly do we cross the line between exercising faith and deceiving and hurting other people who may be Christians too? This isn’t about whether or not a Christian lady should wear heels or whether Christians should use deodorants (you will be surprised to know some people still argue on these mundane matters) No! This is me asking an honest important question. Is there a line between exercising faith and deceit? Besides, when do we cross that line?

I know you would be wondering when I’m going to say what exactly triggered my thoughts on this issue. Here it is: I was reading a blog post sometime last month and a lady was lamenting about what her fiance did to her. They are both Christians, had been dating for some years and were preparing to get married . They had a fasting program in church and she had gone to the service. At the close of service, her mum invited her fiance home for dinner. While at their house, he went to use the toilet.

she casually picked up his bible which was on the sofa beside her. She opened it and saw a piece of paper which had urgent prayer points. She knew she ought to leave it, but she was curious to see if her fiance added anything concerning her to his prayer points. She wanted to affirm his care for her. Her curiosity got the better of her and she took the paper out and there, on the number 1 prayer point was: ‘I need a miraculous change of genotype from AS to AA.’ She was stunned. All along he had told her he was AA knowing fully well she was AS and didn’t want to marry anyone except an AA.

When she confronted him with it , he said he was exercising faith and many readers asked the lady to forgive him because, well, he was exercising faith. I am all for forgiving. That is mandatory and necessary but I have pondered and thought about it and cannot come to terms with anyone deliberately deceiving another and hiding under the faith umbrella. The same bible which asks us to exercise faith also says we should not lie to one another. Some say since faith is calling things that are not as if they are, it would be wrong for me, an AS to speak contrary to my confession (of being an AA) by telling someone I am an AS. Never mind that this someone is my fiancee. We have been in a relationship for three years and have plans to marry this year. She is an AS and only wants to marry and AA.

It reminded me of a friend who told me her aunt got infected with the HIV virus from her husband who knew he was positive before he married her and never told her till after a year of marriage. Little wonder churches insist on couples taking all necessary tests and submitting to the church before joining them in holy matrimony.

It is disheartening that some would lie to others on grave matters like this and say they were believing and exercising faith.
A man’s business got ruined totally before he told his wife. When she asked why he had to wait till everything was lost before he told her, he said he had been praying and believing. He had been exercising faith and to tell his wife his business had issues would be speaking contrary to his confession. Really! Really!!

When did making faith confessions translate to lying and deceiving others? I cannot imagine someone walking up to me and asking what’s your name ma’am? And a very single me says Mrs Parker (Parker being the rich attractive brother in church engaged to another but whom I am believing God for) Yes, it may come to that stage if we do not learn what exactly exercising faith, positive confessions is all about and knowing when to draw the line between that and lying/ deceiving others. It becomes an issue when people don’t just do weird things but deceive others. We ought to be careful. There are so many instances of this subtle deceit in the name of faith that I’ll rather not delve into.

We should not let people question the same faith we say we are exercising. We should not let them question our integrity. Our Lord was a man of faith and no one dealt with people with integrity more than He did. If we cannot trust each other in the body of Christ, how then do we tell the world to trust our Christ?
Faith is what our relationship with God is all about, it cannot be over emphasised, but while we live by faith, we are also called to walk in love and love is all about being true to yourself and to others.

This was my conclusion after everything. There exists hope, faith and love, but love is the greatest of all. Love believes all things, it hopes all things but does not rejoice in falsehood, Love rejoices in the truth.

Please share your comments and views. I’ll like to know what faith and confessions mean to you, whether you think a line should be drawn and when you think it should be drawn. Much love as always.

Beyond their challenges

Josh, many years later

Josh, many years later

I sat glaring at him as I restrained myself from giving him a knock on his head. Did I have to repeat myself over and over again or write it myself to show him examples? Guide his hand to show him how it is done?. I had done all that and was tired of doing it. Why was he so dumb? I thought as I sat down exasperated. There he was, looking at me, his eyes imploring me to be patient, saying the words his mouth couldn’t form lest I got angry. I can’t do this without your help, don’t leave me to it, his eyes said.

I sighed and tried again. He just wasn’t getting it. No matter how hard he tried, his handwriting still looked like that of a one year old .
“How can anyone read this?” I asked him. “Read it,” I told him and he did. He was the only one who could read what he wrote, attempting it gave me an headache. I never wanted to help him with his home work, I just couldn’t bear seeing his hand writing but I was the one usually stuck with helping him do his homework as well as work on his handwriting. I looked at my five year old brother and asked myself again. “Why is he so dumb?”

Fast forward ten years later.

We were all in the parlour watching TV one evening when Josh told mum he wanted to show her something.
“Bend your thumbs, mummy,” he said to her. She did, bending her left thumb. “Bend the other one too” and she did.
“What is it you want to show me?” she asked puzzled.
“Sis, bend yours,” he told me. “Huh?” I replied, raising my eyebrows. “Just show us what you want to show us” I said, pretending to be bored when I was really curious. “Just bend it,” he said, laughing. “Done,” I replied, bending both of my thumbs.

“Eh eh”, what now?” I asked. “Busayo, bend yours,” he told the last born. Like seriously! I thought, shaking my head. Busayo complied. “Now look,” he said, showing us his thumbs. I can’t bend mine. Mum had this funny look on her face. “What do you mean?” she asked shocked. “Come!” she drew him closer.
“Bend your thumbs.” He tried, they wouldn’t bend. “I noticed it last week,” he said, “it occurred to me that everyone I know can bend their thumbs but I can’t,” he finished.

I was surprised, I looked like one waking up from a slumber, I was trying to process what this meant. Everyone I knew could bend their thumbs, why couldn’t he bend his own. It was then it struck me, the cause of his terrible hand writing. He couldn’t bend his thumbs, hence he could not hold a pen properly.

His handwriting had been a source of worry since he started school and everyone had blamed him for it. I had thought him dumb those early years for something that he had no control over, something I had not been patient enough to notice. I had held his hands several times in those early years to show him how to properly hold a pen. All this while he had struggled over his handwriting, ashamed always taking his time when he writes so he doesn’t get bad grades. All the while, it had not been because he was dumb but because his thumbs naturally would not bend.

How many times have you looked down on people irritated at their inability to grasps things fast, disgusted at their seemingly inexcusable sluggishness, their slow speech, bad accent, stuttering, their inability to recognise colours, to read properly, understand numbers and figures and so on?

You had looked down on them from your high throne of intelligence, your crown of knowledge sitting regally on your head and wondered how anyone could be so un intelligent, slow and stupid in your righteous opinion. When in reality many of these people suffer challenges.

I smile as I write this thinking of my brother. Its his birthday today, He’s turned out to be an intelligent, smart young man and oh yea now, his handwriting is almost better than mine. Can you imagine lol?

We have no right to make anyone feel inferior because we think we have a better IQ. I’m glad I learnt this lesson a long time ago. Many of this people for all of their limitations turn out to be intelligent people, some of whom go ahead to excel in life more than those who looked down on them. Some of them become experts in certain fields.

I was reminded of a movie “like stars on earth” produced by Aamir Khan. The story centred on a nine year old boy who could not read. His parents, teachers and everyone had given up on him. They thought he was obstinate, stubborn and unwilling to learn, all the while the poor child had dyslexia and could not recognise alphabets making it difficult to read and write. It was a patient teacher who discovered this and informed his parents who wondered how they could have failed to notice. The boy turned out to have excellent painting skills and he did learn to read and write under the teacher’s gentle tutoring. He learnt with pictures.

So many children suffer dyslexia, their parents and people around them are not patient enough to help them or believe in them. Yet this children have the seed of greatness in them waiting for the right person to nurture it.

We know and celebrate many persons who have excelled in spite of their challenges. We celebrate Albert Einstein, Leonardo da vinci who had difficulty writing, Thomas Edison couldn’t make sense of alphabets, Walt Disney too. Agatha Christie couldn’t read and write as a child. The list is endless .

When next you are tempted to thumb your nose at someone for their stupidity, be patient enough to remember they may be struggling with certain challenges. They may not be good at one thing but you can be certain there are treasures in them. Every one has an ability, you can help them discover theirs instead of mocking them.

A special shout out to Josh Akibon. Your sister loves you. Happy birthday *winks*

Thank you for reading, do share your thoughts . Much love.

Hadassah! More than a fairy tale

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A young Jewish girl  found herself at a place she didn’t like yet realised the circumstances were leading to a purpose. She surrendered herself and her will to God . She embraced her purpose even in the face of opposition, fear and uncertainty.  She sought God’s face and when she got word from him,  lay hold of courage and took the steps to achieving purpose and in purpose, she found elevation and a firm place in history.  Not just any history but God’s history; God’s plan,  God’s purpose and till now her name is on our lips.  Queen Esther. We call her by her persian regal name. We tell of her story from grass to grace, like a fairy tale. We tell of a poor girl who married a King and became the Queen of a vast kingdom. We have heard and told the story over and over again with many a lady getting teary eyed when it is told, reminding herself that she must find a prince charming like Hadassah did.

If only we understand what her life must really have been like, a young girl taken into captivity from her home land to a strange land where idols were being worshipped. An orphan raised by an uncle who loved her dearly. There is more to Hadassah’s story than the fairy tale many see and it is more than a story of favour like some solely make it seem. It is a story of purpose.

A captive, something difficult for most of us to fully comprehend because we were born at a better time in the history of the world.

I imagine her fear and pain when she was captured from her home and torn from the warm embrace of an uncle that had raised her as if she were his own.

Oh! how burdened Hadassah’s mind would have been as she must have wondered what would become of her if the King rejected her and if by a miracle he did find her worthy, how right was it for her a jew to marry a gentile. She even had to hide her jewish identity to the extent of dropping her jewish name Hadassah all for the sake of purpose. How she must have wished she was back in her home listening to her uncle tell her stories about Jerusalem and Yahweh. Why? To what end? She must have asked God again and again, until she felt peace in her spirit that whatever God does is for a purpose.

To walk in purpose doesn’t come easy, but each step of it teaches us life’s lesson and as we follow through, we are in God’s graces like Hadassah and earning our place in history. Our purpose may not always bring us loud ovations like Esther’s on earth, (we can’t all be presidents, ministers etc but we can all touch lives even if it is just one) but in God’s kingdom it will, and it makes Kings and Queen’s out of us. Her life is our life, her legacy our legacy as we are all called to fulfil purpose. We can run away from it, or embrace it like she did, saying to ourselves if I perish, I perish but God’s will be done.

Find your purpose and embrace it. Even if it won’t lead you to the palace like Hadassah’s, embrace it still. Even if it won’t earn you accolades among your people, embrace it still. And if it does take you to the palace, put your name on the lips of countless people and earn you their accolades, then don’t forget where you are coming from. Don’t get lost in it all, remain focused by always remembering like Hadassah, you are where you are for a reason. Whatever God does in us, through us,whatever position or place he brings us to, its all for his purpose and that we must not lose sight of.

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Hadassah’s story is also a reminder that people’s destiny are attached to ours so we must get it right. She was willing to learn and heed wise counsel before and after she became Queen. She made sure from her end, she put in place all that was needed to fulfil God’s plans for her life. When she realised her people’s lives were attached to her’s, she didn’t seat back in her “Queenly” throne. She stood up and took brazen steps. She changed the course of history, she changed lives and brought hope to a nation. We can change lives by starting with those around us, our family, friends, colleagues. Purpose is something that is beyond us, it always involves people, places and events outside our selves.

It isn’t just about you, its about others whose lives and destinies are attached to yours. It is about God who made you for that purpose. Hadassah didn’t forget that when it mattered and she left us that lesson. You are important, whoever you are because you were made for a purpose (it doesn’t matter how inadequate you think you are now. A mere “cup bearer” rebuilt the broken walls of jerusalem and has a whole book in the bible in his name, with his actions recorded for us to read), find it, embrace it, fight for it, learn, grow, leave a legacy.

Ps. When I felt the pull to study Hadassah’s life I knew I was meant to see not just the fairy tale as the pull was to Hadassah and not Queen Esther. Hadassah is a Diva for all time and this post is only just a part of what I learnt. I hope when next you flip through the pages of her book in the bible your eyes will be open to the power of purpose. These books gave me insight as well. Michelle Mckinney Hammond’s “The Diva Principle” and Tommy Tenney’s “The Hadassah Covenant” Lovely books you may want to read.
May February open your eyes to see more about your purpose . Thank you for reading. Much love.

Welcome Home

Hello beautiful people, today’s piece is a poem sent in by Olive. Its all about love . Enjoy and reflect. *winks*

WELCOME HOME

The earth-quake within at the thought of thy lover.
At the mention of that name, the smile that takes over.
The sudden realisation of the beauty of the earth.
A sudden change in the person; a re-birth.

Colours become brighter, loads become lighter.
A weakling becomes a fighter as the bond gets tighter.
More beauty, more charm, more passion, less blames.
Oh! The beauty of love when it is born; the fiery flames.

But when the spark is low and the flames are down.
When thy lover’s faults lay bare before thee now.
When colours have now taken up their original hue.
When thy mood becomes sometimes cheery, sometimes blue.

And when thou looketh into the eyes of thy lover,
And though the belly-butterflies have stopped to hover.
Thou knoweth for sure that this is indeed home.
‘Tis then thou art in love, Welcome home!

Olive Emodi is a Lawyer from Delta State but lives in Lagos. She has a deep passion for the arts which she has expressed in time past through Poetry, Modelling, Script-Writing, Dance and Acting. She is also the winner of the Delta Talent Quest Acting Reality TV show 2011 Edition. She hopes to be able to have the best of both worlds “Entertainment and Law” you can follow her on twitter @Oliveemodi

Ps. Thank you for reading. Please leave your comments. Olive loves honest feedbacks . To follow this blog via email, scroll down past the comments, click or type in your email address in the space provided for follow blog via email. Thank you and have a beautiful week.

Don’t lose your Voice

hhhJay-Jay(6)The teenage girl walked into the room placing the drinks before the adults. Her father’s friend was having a little house party to celebrate the purchase of his new car, the third in a roll and the conversation had turned to the economy of the Nation.

She kept hearing the word Law, government and policies. She knew a little about the Law; her Government teacher was always saying it was an instrument of change and social engineering. Government was one of the new courses she was taking in school. The men’s talk shifted to companies and the boardrooms. She watched and listened with keen interest.

She wanted to ask questions but observed that the women were quiet,only nodding and laughing at the men’s jokes where appropriate. Her friends, the ones within her age group (fifteen years of age) were interested in just their food. She frowned, she really wanted to ask questions, to know what the law had to do with companies, she thought it was just about the government, but asking questions may be out of place. Her aunty always said she was too inquisitive while her father always replied that an inquisitive mind is a great mind.

She woke up early the next day to prepare for school, ate her breakfast hurriedly and rushed out of the house as her mum wondered what interesting event was happening in school. There was no event except if having Government as her first period was an event. The government teacher talked about the law a lot, if that law was so important that her father’s friends talked about it for hours then she wanted to know more about it.

She heard a scream, she turned back, it was a young woman who recently lost her husband. People were gathered in front of her house, her head was shaven, they were trying to force her to drink something. Adamma, the young widow screamed again.

The teenage girl was torn between getting to her government class before the teacher to check the library for something on the law. She drew closer, she knew what was happening was that “barbaric custom” as she had told her mother. She heard someone say, “in this age and time? Let the law catch up with them”. What happened to women’s right? The young man hissed and left.

What? She thought, the law had something to do with this too? And that day vision and purpose met with passion, courage with determination and a young girl was caught in their web.

I have a voice and I want society to hear it. No, I didn’t choose this profession on a whim. It chose me.

If you consider me a success today, its because I’m doing something I love, something I look forward to each day, so I break new grounds because I am driven by passion. I see this as a calling and not just a profession. This is my success story.

The hall exploded as a thousand students gave Doris a standing ovation. It was the special ceremony organised by her alma mata to celebrate one of their best product in recent years. She felt joy on the inside of her as she saw the smiles on the faces of the young ones before her, many of whom still described her as young herself. It was the same joy she felt when she made things happen in the boardroom, when a satisfied client says thank you, when she was consulted by some senators before some laws are passed, the joy she felt when her foundation restored hope to any child. It was the same joy she felt when she decided to leave active practice for the academics, the joy she felt when people walked up to her and called her inspiring, the joy she felt when any new award was placed in her hands.

Yes, so many people had heard her voice, the voice of a 15 year old who had chosen a path after her heart and had surpassed even her own expectations.

It is saddening to see how many people settle for a life they did not dream about. A life they have no vision for. It is never too late to find your voice, to change careers if you have to. I have seen people who bagged certificates in professional courses keep them and go into catering, event planning, interior decoration and so on, I have seen people in their third year in the university change departments, I have seen middle aged people go back to school to study.

Your work is something you will do for a good number of your years on earth, what use is it waking up to a job you have no drive for? No passion, no desire for excellence but just mere getting by and making ends meet, no touching lives, no inspiring others, no making the world better , just mere getting by.

In a world where many are just getting by, not loving what they do, just surviving, this piece is dedicated to everyone pursuing a career, establishing a business, setting up enterprises, launching ideas, doing what they love and striving for excellence. It is dedicated to ALL THOSE WHO HAVEN’T LOST THEIR VOICE. It is dedicated to a friend Marvis Abada. While working with her on a little something I got the inspiration for this piece and she thought it would make a good blogpost. It is dedicated to Ashama Anesh, a young man qualified to practice law but who is a make up artist and bakes the most amazing cakes. He represents many people out there who take the risk of leaving a professional career for other things. It is dedicated to you who is determined to make people hear your voice.

Whatever it is that you do, wherever you are, Don’t lose your voice! . Have a beautiful week. Much love.

Lessons From The Animal Kingdom

Diadem!(_)(1)

It was a beautiful sunday morning around  the hours of 11am, the noon was fast approaching. There wasn’t much to do around the house as every chore had been taken care of, leaving just the preparation of the afternoon meal: pounded yam with efirin and bushmeat; one of our local delicacies.

My youngest uncle Felix washed the bushmeat, added the necessary ingredients and left it to steam on the gas. Yes, he is among that generation of men that can cook and don’t mind being in the kitchen occasionally. We moved to the veranda while waiting for the yam to boil.

Suddenly, something wheezed past. I blinked and looked around, confused. Okay, that didn’t look like a ghost and I’m not going crazy. Something or someone had just passed but where to I wondered with what must have been a scoobydoo look on my face. Felix looked at me and laughed. “It’s only Paddy,” he said, answering my unspoken question. “Paddy? But what is he doing and where is he?” I asked, puzzled. Paddy is a six month old Doberman. “He is running,” Felix replied. “Don’t you have eyes?,” he asked, teasing me. “It’s something he started recently. He does it everyday and yes, he is that fast.”

So I sat down and watched as Paddy circled the big compound over and over again. I was enthralled at the look on his face, the focus and determination in his eyes. Paddy! I called when he passed the veranda again. He turned to look at me and went right on. “Paddy!” I yelled. “Don’t bother,”  Felix said. He won’t answer you. I am one of Paddy’s favourites. He hasn’t seen me for a while and he wouldn’t  even break his run to heed my call. That piqued my interest. “So he has been doing this everyday?” I asked, “yes,” Felix replied.

Its a busy house and Paddy hardly gets anyone to take him on walks so obviously, he developed the routine as his own form of exercise. His focus had me, he had set a goal for himself to reach everyday and he sees it through . “He doesn’t get tired?”  I asked. “Well, he doesn’t stop till he’s achieved his time limit.” Felix said, laughing. Its very cloudy I observed and at that instant, the rain announced its appearance. Paddy ran past.

Its raining heavily I should stop him. I thought. I was worried he would catch a cold. “Paddy!” I called. He is not going to stop, don’t worry yourself,” Felix told me. Paddy didn’t stop. The rain kept pouring and Paddy kept running. The yam was long boiled and it was time to pound it. The sight of it reminded me food may get paddy’s attention. I got his food and a bone. I called him when he ran past again, food in one hand the other on my waist , standing like a seductress daring a a man to walk away from her. He looked at me this time for about 6 seconds and off he went again, ignoring me each time he passed.

I dropped the food,  took a seat and watched him in fascination. Felix chuckled, “I told you he won’t stop till he’s done.” At that moment, I remembered “go to the ants you slugger and learn from her…” a sentence from the Bible.  But it is not just the ants, God has embedded lessons in all of creation; animals, trees, all of nature teaches a lesson just like pocahontas sang and that day a Doberman taught me some lessons about life.

HAVE A GOAL

To succeed in life and as part of fulfilling your life’s purpose, you need to set goals and have a plan for achieving each of your goals. Paddy’s goal was to exercise daily. He had a place, he set the time and the number of runs he did each day. Don’t make plans in the air or just leave them at the realm of imagination. Make them visible, write them down if you have to and make yourself accountable to someone if need be. Don’t wait to be motivated before you carry them out. Motivate yourself each day. If a dog can make a plan for running each day, surely you can make a plan for achieving your goals. You are better than a dog.

FIX YOUR GAZE ON THE GOAL.

I am one of Paddy’s favourite but when i stood between him and his running which was a goal for him, he didn’t let himself be distracted. In life people and even some of your loved ones will try to talk you out of your goal. They may create distractions knowingly or unknowingly. Sometimes, because they don’t understand your goals and its gravity or sometimes, because  they don’t believe in you or your goals. Whatever the reasons, don’t get distracted or sidetracked, fix your eyes on your goal. Make good use of your time, plan for each day making priorities accordingly. You can’t spend the better part of your day as a student hanging out with friends hopping from one place to the other and reach your goal of making a first class grade. As a business man or career person, you can’t spend quality time travelling up and down gracing occasions and not paying enough attention to your business.

THERE IS A TIME TO EAT AND A TIME TO PLAY

In other words, pleasure is pleasurable at the right time, pleasure for Paddy was food which I offered him. But even Paddy knows there is a time to work and a time to eat; there is a right time for everything . He knew the food was not going anywhere so he faced his business. Pleasure for you may be those telemundos, series and soap operas on television, surfing the web, visiting family and friends, going to parties and functions both the ones you were invited to and the ones you were not.*smiles* All of theses things should not take your eyes and focus off your goal.

TAKE AWAY THE NEGATIVES

Completely, cut down on even the positives just because you surf the web for relevant things or watch only the news on tv doesn’t mean you should spend all day on that to the detriment of your goals. Get up and work, don’t just plan! Do!!!

DON’T GIVE IN TO CHALLENGES.

Paddy could have stopped when it started to pour heavily, instead he continued somehow knowing it would not rain forever. when challenges  and difficulties come, don’t give in. Don’t lose sight of your goal. Remember, like someone said “this too shall pass away.” Don’t get discouraged and give up on your goal, don’t get lazy and use the challenges as an excuse either. Keep going!.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

When you have achieved a certain goal, give yourself a deserved break. Don’t work yourself to death. Take time to rest, hang out with family and friends, spend time with your kids, travel, enjoy.
Paddy finally stopped and that was when I remembered this lesson. He came for his meal, ate and then played with me.

DONT REST ON YOUR OARS, SET A NEW GOAL.

The next morning, Paddy was back at it. Yes, some one rightly said goals are not a January first kind of thing, they should be set daily, weekly, monthly”

Keep setting goals, keep being an achiever, don’t stop till you are all of who God intended that you should be.

Thank you for reading. This weekend, observe nature, observe people, observe animals, observe your environment. You may learn one or two things. Have a fabulous week.

2014: 14 Things to Remember!

Hello, happy happy new year to you all. I’m glad we made it. I wish you the very best of the year. Thank you for visiting this blog last year. I appreciate you all. Let’s do it again this year. There’s so much to say but this insightful piece sent in by Feyi says it all for me. So please read also share your thoughts and reminders with us. Much love.

2014:14 Things to Remember by Feyikemi

Hi friends! Yayyyy!!!! We made it into the year 2014 and I’m so thankful to God for our lives. And so, allow me to wish you a very happy new year from this side of heaven. It’s another chance our ever gracious God has given us to make progress in fulfilling His plan and purpose for our lives. I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a few tips (or, as I call them, reminders) for us to hold onto as we go on in the year. It’s so easy to forget that these things matter but this year, I want to remember. They are a representation of the things I intend to do with my year and I want us to be partners, so you can encourage me as I encourage you. Then, at the end of the year, we can all look back with sweet satisfaction and fulfillment, and look forward with hope and courage. Having done this very short introduction, here goes….

1. IT’S A NEW YEAR.

I’m not trying to state the obvious, I’m laying emphasis on the word”new”. It symbolises a new beginning. Yes, we all know the newness may be more symbolic than real…but then, life is what you choose to make of it and if you choose to see this as a new beginning, then that’s exactly what it’s gonna be for you. You need to forget the past – we’ve all made mistakes and we’ve all left important things undone, so it’s no use beating yourself over the head about all the “what ifs”and “if onlys” in 2013. You can’t go back and change them. Drop them and focus on how you can make 2014 better. Trust me, with God, it can only get better.

2. TRY SOMETHING NEW.

Step out of your comfort zone. Do something wild and totally out of character(but still godly though *wink*). Have fun. Let go of unnecessary inhibitions. (I’m definitely addressing myself here) It could be as simple as trying that new dish(cooking or eating) or as fun as going hang gliding (okay, maybe not)Whatever it is that catches your fancy, don’t let this year end without having a new experience. You deserve it.

3. JUST DO IT.

Nope, I’m not advertising for the footwear company, I’m telling you to get that book started, get that business idea out there, set that dream in motion. There’s that small thought that’s been niggling your mind for a long time now and urging you to do that thing you’ve always had your sights set on. Stop procrastinating, stop making excuses, stop discouraging yourself, (and stop listening to the discouragement of others who are “dreamless”) At least, take the first step. Let 2014 be the year. Trust me, you can do it.

4. CUT THE DISTRACTIONS.

Okay, so we successfully figured out that one major thing that you would love to achieve in this year which would make you the happiest person on earth…..but you know you need more focus,right? So why not determine to do away with (or at least reduce) those enjoyable but totally irrelevant activities that take up so much of your time?? For me, I would love to complete at least one, maybe two (fingers crossed) articles for publication in academic journals(I’ve searched and searched to discover my passion and academics seems to be it.)So, anyway, I know I need to cut back on television time (yeah!)as well as some other things as the year goes on in order to achieve this aim. You could do the same, identify your major source of distraction and work on getting rid of it. Sincerely, it pays off.

5. MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY.

It’s not just about the cliche “it’s more blessed to give than to receive”….okay, it is. The truth is, it’s not a cliché, it’s straight from the Bible and that makes it absolutely true. It’s not all about you. In 2014, make a decision to stop being so wrapped up in yourself, go out of your way to make a difference in someone’s life. Give your time, your energy, your money, other resources …..give of yourself to your family, friends, people who can never pay you back…it’s fulfilling and the rewards are enormous. Believe it, you’ll be glad you did.

6. STRATEGIZE!

Having a fulfilling year is beyond making resolutions. You need to figure out how to carry out those resolutions. I don’t need to go on and on about what resolutions should look like- realistic,specific and all that. I’m sure a good number of us have been making resolutions, year in, year out without having anything to show for it at the end of the year. It’s been the same with me, but this year, it’s going to be different. Each resolution has a detailed plan of how it will be carried out, that makes it easier to stick with. You might want to try it out and let me know if it works for you. Periodic reviews would also go a long way in helping us keep our resolutions.

7. PICK YOURSELF UP.

Closely related to strategising is the fact that you need to forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Things may not always work out according to your plans and you may get frustrated with yourself…..don’t be too hard on yourself. The trick is if you fall six times, be sure to get up seven times.

8. VALUE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS.

Let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. Don’t just think it, show it . Whether you like it or not, you are privileged to have those people in your life. In 2014, remember to act more like it. Show appreciation to your family, friends and acquaintances; be there when they need you, get in touch from time to time, show concern if anything goes wrong, don’t take them for granted….Your relationships are a major determinant of how far you will go in life. Trust me, you can’t afford to be careless with them.

9. UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE.

As a sort of corollary to valuing your relationships, remember to let go of those relationships that are not adding any value whatsoever to your life. We know them, those people just drain your emotions and you really have no business holding on to them . Forget sentiments, let’s face facts-they need to go! Let emotional baggage go, drop the hurts and pains as well. In the same vein, refuse physical clutter in your life in 2014. Those clothes, shoes, and other items you’re just holding on to for no reason, either bless someone with them or throw them out.
Create room for God to bless you with more.

10. FACE YOUR FEARS!

In the year 2013, I found myself compelled to do a number of things that have always terrified me, in theory…but I found myself in circumstances where I had no option…and…surprise!surprise! I discovered that fear has no substance except that which you give to it. The more you avoid the object of your fear, the greater power you give to it. I was able to do those things almost effortlessly…and now, I would gladly do them over and over again. Make 2014 the year you seize power from your fears, by confronting them head on. Trust me,it’s worth it.

11. KEEP YOUR PROMISES.

Personally, I try to avoid making promises…but then, there are some totally unavoidable situations. Anyway, the point is this, in 2014, let your word be your bond. By making and keeping your resolves and promises, you get self-respect and win influence with others. However, never make a promise you will not keep. You can be very selective about the promises you make because you know yourself well. Our ability to make and keep promises is one measure of faith in ourselves and of our integrity.

12. ONLY YOUR BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH.

Excellence is a virtue. Don’t settle for less. Don’t make excuses for doing less than your best in 2014. Whatever you’re involved in, give it your best shot. Academics, Business, Career…whatever it is, pour yourself into it. Passion mixed with dedication and commitment is a potent combination that opens doors and sets you on the path of fantastic success.

13. SMILE.

Whatever life throws at you in 2014, remember to smile. Your smile is like a rainbow in the clouds, it gives you the assurance that everything is going to be okay . Be warm, be open, be friendly, be courteous, be beautiful……your smile actually conveys all of these things so don’t be without it in 2014.

14. PUT GOD FIRST.

As we all know, (or should know), this is the most important point of all, which is why I don’t feel guilty writing it here and not as the first point .It goes without saying that in order to make any sense out of the year 2014 at all, God must be the main factor in the equation. Don’t take God for granted in 2014. Consciously take your relationship to the next level, deliberately put Him first in every single thing you do. You can count on Him for wisdom, direction, provision and whatever else you need to get through the year. Trust me, you can trust Him.

So I eventually made it to 14! Wow!Maybe I’ll write 15 next year….or maybe not.Wishing us all a glorious year filled with amazing experiences. I would love to hear about those experiences, I know it’s going to be a great year. Till next time, ciao.

Feyikemi Adagunodo is a a Lawyer and aspiring writer. You can send her a mail at adags_003@ymail.com

The Lion and the Lamb

the lion and the lamb

the lion and the lamb

He roars with a great voice,
Instilling fear and terror in his enemies,
He is girdled with strength,
He cannot be tamed. The lion.

His voice is barely a whisper,
He invokes love in the hearts of people,
He is clothed with humility,
He was tamed. The lamb.

He stands tall, his chest full of pride,
He protects his loved ones with a fierceness that is unparalleled,
He makes sure they lack nothing,
He is indeed king. The lion

He sits still, his coat of fur velvety smooth,
He gave his life to protect his loved ones,
To make sure they lack nothing,
A servant he was. The lamb.

Two personalities in one person,
One fearsome, one docile,
But the heartbeat is one.
It beats love. The lion and the lamb.

Love! Yes, love it is that made a Lion a lamb. Love it is that made a king leave his palace to live among his subjects. Love it was that made him seek reconciliation with the ones who disobeyed him. Our friendship means that much to him.

He would endure the birth in a manger, growing up and raised by men he created, perhaps even being scolded by them. He lived his early years like the ordinary son of an ordinary carpenter. He who is the king of the universe.

He would endure listening to the Pharisees, the Sadducces, and the other jewish leaders as they flaunted their supposed knowledge of the Word. He who is the Word himself.

He would enjoy the shouts of Hosanna by some of the people who spread their clothes on the ground as he rode on a Colt triumphantly into Jerusalem. Yet, in reality it was nothing compared to the reception in heaven when he, the Commander of Heaven’s Armies is seated on his throne in all majesty and splendour.

The creator would let his creation jeer at him when he could destroy them with a snap of his fingers as He was led like a lamb to the slaughter on calvary’s mount. He would bear the pain and death on a cross as he finished the work of redemption, and as he ascended into heaven, he would send a comforter who would not choose a magnificent temple to dwell but our mortal bodies, quickening it, working in and through us conforming us to the king’s image.

This is the season we celebrate the birth of this King, whom no amount of words can adequately describe. He is indescribable. If all of the world’s best writers were to put pen to paper , their words would still not be enough to convey who he is. Only the Holy Spirit can communicate him to a man and even then, our minds can never fully comprehend the awesome majesty of this amazing King.

Join me in celebrating this Lion, the Lamb who came so you and I could have life abundantly. Join your words with mine and though it would still not be perfect, it would be a little way to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Ancient of days. The one whom AGES CANNOT TIME.

Ps.
Using the comment box, just pick a letter of the Alphabet and use it to start a word, phrase, sentence, (poem, song, anything)say whatever is in your heart to him . I’ll start using the letter A, the next person can use the letter B and on it goes. Have a beautiful CHRISTmas. Seasons’ greetings.

Travails Of A Single Lady

Hello beautiful people, I hope you had a lovely week. Today, I will be sharing a piece I wrote sometime this year for an online magazine(Slightly edited though). I will be sharing it because this past week, it was a topic that popped frequently in conversations I had and observed. I hope it encourages some one.

The travails of a single lady.

Tricia sped up the stairs, she wanted this to be done and over with quickly,apart from the fact that she knew it was going to be a tiring discussion, which would require a lot of patience and wisdom from her, she had her presentation to work on, her boss was counting on her.

She was the personal assistant to the head of the public relations department of one of the largest telecommunications company and together they made a formidable team.

Tricia had it all, beauty, brains, a good paying job. She had a fulfilling life and at 28, she was living the dream. Only one thing was missing and it was for that one thing that she was here.

She sighed as she got to her mum’s room.”Good afternoon Tricia” (now that wasn’t her mum’s voice) “oh no!” The whole gang is here she thought as she looked properly and saw her mum,her aunty and her elder sister.
She sat on the sofa,”Okay Lord,I need you here.” She sent a quick 911 to heaven and then, it began.

The appeal for her to pick one of her suitors and settle down; the scolding that she wasn’t getting younger and her younger sister had a kid already (her younger sister got married at age 22); the anger that what exactly was her problem.”What’s keeping you?”

She sat through it all, patiently listening and trying to give them answers. Not that they gave room for that. According to them, they had heard it all before. Then her mum went, “I hear there’s this young (stressing the Rich and responsible) rich and responsible man called Kelvin who has been asking for your hand in marriage.”
How on earth did her mum know about Kelvin? But of course, Sandra (her elder sister) had met him once and she had already concluded Kelvin was all that.

She shook her head.”What about him mum? He isn’t’s right for me!” She blurted, losing patience with them all. “Every man that you meet isn’t right for you. When will you see this Mr right you’ve been looking for?” Her mum asked angrily.

She bore it all quietly and waited for her them to finish. “I have to leave now ,” she said and ran out. She got into her car and the tears came pouring down.

Why couldn’t they stop pressuring her? Why couldn’t they understand that as a Christian, unlike her sisters she couldn’t just marry any man not even just any Christian. How many times had she tried to explain to them that every man may be good for her but not every man was right for her.

How could she make them understand that Marriage was about fulfilling purpose and she was made to help her man fulfil his purpose, so it wasn’t about getting married to just any clean rich “responsible” guy. Purpose! Purpose!! Purpose!!! Why couldn’t they understand?… And then she looked up.

Lord why are you making this so hard? How hard can it be to find a faithful man? Faithful to you and faithful to me. “Patience” she heard, but Lord, patience? Still? She sighed and picked up her bible.(she always kept one NLT version in her car) She opened Isaiah 34:16, she saw what she was looking for “none of these shall lack a mate” she heard a whisper “I know the thoughts I have for you. It is of peace and not of evil; to give you an expected end.

I’ll wait, she resolved. I’ll be patient because I know I’ll get the best. I won’t let the pressure get to me. I’ll be strong and go about fulfilling purpose until you say it is time.
And while I’m at it, I will enjoy every bit of my single life!

“Hello Darling,” she felt his arms around her. She turned smiling at Dave her husband. “What are you ladies still discussing?” He asked. “Just ladies talk,” she replied, winking at him. “I’m going to pick Sharon.” Sharon, their 2year old child, was visiting Dave’s parents. “Have a beautiful Sunday,” he told Ngozi their visitor.

“I love the relationship you both have,” Ngozi said. “Well, then you can be rest assured when I tell you its worth the wait,” Susan told her. “That was my story.” “I know,” Ngozi replied smiling.

“Don’t give in to pressure,” Susan said. “You know the kind of home you desire. If you meet a Man and you can’t picture that home with him then keep waiting, if you can’t see yourself beside him helping him fulfill purpose, then keep waiting. If he doesn’t have a clear purpose, run away from him. In the end you will be glad you did.”

“Thank you,” Ngozi said, giving her a hug. “You are the only friend who encourages me, who chooses to understand. The others think now that they are married, they can lecture me thoughtlessly. Some have good homes. Some, I pity each day. But they think I should just go ahead and marry anyone so I can have what kind of home?” She shook her head. “They mean well,” Susan replied. “Well, they should mind their business instead of adding to my worries. “The pressures won’t go. Ngozi, its you who will decide you will remain happy and enjoy your singleness inspite of it.”

“Well, I will.” Ngozi said smiling, as she got up to go. Susan’s story had strengthen her resolve.

PS.

Society, especially in this part of the world isn’t very nice to single Ladies. Once a lady is done studying at the university, most people expect her wedding invitation card and if it isn’t forthcoming, then she better be ready for a whole lot of lecturing. God help her if she is within or past society’s defined age for getting married.

People begin to state the reasons for her singleness. Oh she’s proud(career ladies get this a lot); she knows book too much; she’s just unlucky; its a demonic influence; (Now that is the umbrella where the cases of most single ladies beyond society’s defined age for marriage are put) and then the invitation to deliverance sessions begin.

The pressure drives many single ladies into desperation and the available becomes the desirable, not to talk of the extent some would go to hook a man.

I agree with Susan that no matter what is said or done by some to make the pressure on single ladies stop, it won’t. So it is up to the Lady in question (who isn’t any of what society has pegged her to be) to decide to enjoy her singleness while it lasts instead of getting depressed or desperate.

Do not allow anybody make you miserable or less of a woman for being single. Keep building yourself in preparation for that home you picture, live life, and when the time is right, your heavenly father who knows that you ought to get married would settle you.

Thank you for reading. I’ll love to read your comments. I always do. Have a beautiful week and don’t forget to spread some love.

A gift of yourself

He looked up from what he was doing, dropped his pen to pay attention to what was being said on the Television. He sighed. Another little child needed funds . The little one had a heart disease. Poor child he thought, one of those politicians, or celebrities should make their money useful, God knows just one of them can single-handedly pay for the heart transplant. He resumed his work. He needed to finish this work and go to bed.

You were late for your appointment, and the car had chosen to break down today of all days. You were standing by the roadside waiting to flag a taxi. Your mechanic would pick the car up later. Every taxi seem to be occupied, now you wish you had one of their numbers. Well your car had never failed you this way before.

Just then they swarmed around you like flies.”What the hell” you thought . They wanted money. Dirty looking children. You didn’t want your crisply ironed shirt stained. A taxi pulled over, “Thank God” you breathed , you got in immediately and you went your way. Later in the day you remembered those children and the very many of them out there. You feel sorry . Poor kids you thought shaking your head.

You really love children, you had just been taken aback with the way they swarmed all over you. But why would people bring children into the world when they know they can’t fend for then, when they know they don’t want them. Poor kids you thought again and went to switch on the TV. It was time to watch your favorite team play.

“I read the beggar boy” he told me, “I found it very emotional. If you had a chance to help a kid like that would you? I’ll like to tell you about a small project going on” Louis, a friend told me. “Okay” I replied.

Louis Adekola and a group of passionate friends are organizing a charity project on the 14th of December, 2013 by visiting an Orphanage in Lagos to make donations and to spend a little time with some of these less privileged ones. They are calling for volunteers, they call it giving back to the community.

The year is coming to an end and some of us cannot boldly say we have given a gift of ourselves to anyone. Giving your money, time or things is giving a gift of yourself. The holidays are coming, the time when we celebrate the birth of the greatest man who ever walked the earth, its a season of love and giving. Do make sure you give something of you this season, it may be making Donations of money, clothes, paying a visit to the orphanage, it may even be something as small as giving a plate of food to someone who has nothing to eat. Whatever you do , make it count. be a part of healing the world around you and making it a better place. You don’t have to be a celebrity before you do that. People do it every day, its time to give of yourself too if you haven’t.

If you’ll like to be a part of Louis’ project. You can reach him ASAP on +2347058525250 or send him a mail at louis.omotade@gmail.com, louis.adekola@yahoo.com  for more  information.

Have a lovely week and don’t forget to spread some love and laughter. Much love.

Ake Arts and Book Festival 2013: The Shadow of Memory

Hello beautiful people, how was your week? I’ve been busy with so many things and have not been able to write. You can imagine my delight when a friend sent me a piece of his experience at the recently concluded Ake Arts and Book festival.

I enjoyed every bit of it, it was as though I was at the festival myself. I saw what I had missed and I understood why Yinka (the writer) kept telling me it was blissful.

Here is Yinka’s piece, if you are a lover of Arts and Books , you should get a drink, sit, relax and enjoy.

Teju Cole, Chibundu Onuzo and Wana Udobang during a Book Chat.

Teju Cole, Chibundu Onuzo and Wana Udobang during a Book Chat.

Abeokuta. An ancient town set upon a thousand undulating hills. That was the place where they chose to meet, all of the best writers on the continent and from all over the world.

Lola Shoneyin is a goddess. There is no other word that accurately describes a woman that could bring such a memorable event to our backyard. When I first stumbled upon noises of the Ake Festival on twitter, I knew that something unusual was about to happen. So I rushed off to the Ake Festival website, http://www.akefestival.org , to know exactly what the frenzy was about. I was pleasantly shocked by what I saw. An Arts and Book festival would be holding right there in Abeokuta and many award winning writers, poets and artists would be there, including the Nobel laureate himself, Prof Wole Soyinka. I concluded that very moment that it would be a grave sin for me to miss it.

“Baba Segi” in a scene from “Baba Segi’s Wives”

A quick peek into the programme of events revealed that there would be Master classes on a wide variety of subjects. There would be Book Chats, Workshops, Art exhibitions, Cocktails, film shows and Stage plays. Wole Soyinka’s new book, a drama, “Alapata Apata” was going to be performed live, A stage adaptation of Lola Shoneyin’s book “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” was also going to be performed live. I shuddered in front of my PC. Nothing in the world was going to make me miss it.

A scene from “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives”

And so it happened that the event did hold. And it happened that I did attend. When I stepped into the June 12 Cultural Centre in Kuto, Abeoukuta, the first person I stumbled into was Pa Ikhide Ikheloa, who was a columnist with Next Newspapers and the Daily Times of Nigeria and is one of Africa’s most prominent literary critics. We shook hands and he laughed. The atmosphere was great already. People were ambling back and forth, many of them top writers and poets that I had severally longed to meet in person. I sighed. It was going to be a beautiful week.

Because of my love for books, after I registered for the event (for just one thousand naira by the way), I found my way into the book fair. There were several bookshops there. The quality of books in the Ake Festival bookstore was nothing short of pure seduction. A bookslut like me can never be trusted with a credit card in such a place. My eyes almost popped out of their sockets at the sight of so many books.

My account was the colour of blood when I walked out of the book fair. But in my hands I had bags of treasures, books that would return with me to Ife. Perhaps the best buy for me was NoViolet Bulawayo’s “We Need New Names”, considering the fact that it was one of the finest 2013 books and hadn’t really made its way into any major bookstore in Nigeria yet.

One cannot really over-emphasise the Ake experience. There were so many authors, Lola Shoneyin, Binyavanga Wainaina, Eghosa Imasuen, Chuma Nwokolo, Toni Kan, Igoni Barrett, Teju Cole, Chibundu Onuzo, Pius Adesanmi, Molara Wood, Charlie Watson, to name a few. The enigmatic Wole Soyinka was a major presence at the event and his constantly witty and humorous answers to questions filled the audience with reasons to laugh.

The Book Chats were enlightening, we saw deep into the soul of the writers and their books, we saw why they wrote the way they wrote. The Panels were solid. Insights and information flowed, intriguing questions were asked and even more intriguing answers provided.

One of the major topics touched on the most at the festival was the term “Afropolitan”. There were long debates on it, and whether at all it should be a source of concern for the present day African to be referred to as “Afropoilitan”. “Afropolitanism” is actually a concept Taiye Selasi, author of “Ghana Must Go”, wrote about in her 2005 essay in The Lip titled “Bye-Bye Barbar”. Also there were serious talks on the Nigerian Civil war, questions answered mainly by Alabi Isama, author of “The Victory of Tragedy”, corruption, which was one of the most emotional sessions and sexuality in African writing.

Efe Paul-Azino, performing his “This is Not a Political Poem” at the PalmWine and Poetry Night

Perhaps the highlight of the whole event was the stage adaptation of Lola Shoneyin’s “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” by Rotimi Babatunde, a former Caine Prize winner. It was a very electrifying play, the actors were perfect in their craft and the audience was delighted. But for me the highlight was the Palm Wine and Poetry Night, which was the very last event of the whole festival. It was anchored by Prof Remi Raji, fondly known as “Remi Raj”, the president of ANA (Association of Nigerian Authors). Poets graced the mic while the audience regaled themselves with continuous cups of cold palm wine.

The white people were an amusement to watch as they sipped the milky white liquid. There were several poets that performed that night, poets from all over Africa, the beautiful Natalia Molebatsi, the enchanting Sitawa Namwalie, the big and bold Wana Udobang and Iquo Dianabasi, who had the audience chanting her name after every stanza during one of her poems. Efe Paul-Azino’s performances were for me the most memorable, he performed his popular “This is Not a Political Poem”, “History is” and “Justice Has Been Kidnapped in My Country” and the audience went wild with applause. It was a beautiful night. Many of us would have paid anything for it to continue that way forever.

It would be impossible for me to forget the Ake Festival, its memories are etched deep within me eternally. How can one forget mingling with so many solid writers, poets, artists for days, having cocktails and meeting fellows of literary minds for a week in that hilly city? I praise and thank the goddess, Lola Shoneyin, for bringing such a literary landmark event to our land. Her team is also to be well commended.

I know for sure that the muses of all the aspiring writers in attendance have been fuelled. I know for sure that the students whose schools were visited by the writers and artists present also have had the fire of creativity fuelled in them.

The Ake festival is good for the Nigerian literary ecosystem. If continued at this momentum, it will end up becoming the most respected literary festival on the continent. As for me, November next year is another date. I am saving already for the books I intend to buy at the next Ake Festival. I hope that you too will begin to plan, to avoid committing the sin of missing the next edition.

A view of the audience at the PalmWine and Poetry Night.

A view of the audience at the PalmWine and Poetry Night.

The photos are courtesy, http://www.akefestival.org. Please visit the website for more interesting photos and information about the Ake festival.

I hope you enjoyed the piece like I did. I will start saving to buy some of this books too, looking forward to my 2014 library and to reading Yinka’s books when they are published.

Yinka Elujoba is a front end developer at Fooshia. When Yinka is not writing code, he is writing stories. Find him on twitter @yinkaElujoba.

Yinka

Yinka

The beggar boy

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There in the scorching sun he sat, with nothing to shield him, no sense of what tomorrow holds. Yet, he wore this smile on his face. So striking, I still have it etched on my memory.

There I was, with a big frown on my face. Why? I was angry. Why? Because the sun was scorching and the heat was in my opinion, unbearable and infact, the traffic was just as annoying. I couldn’t wait to get home to the comfort of my bed and food. Yes! delicious delicacies to choose from.

The beggar boy was still smiling. Now, his friends were talking to him; two little children with wares on their heads. They were urging him to seize the opportunity caused by the traffic jam to get alms from people.

The beggar boy shook his head. It was then that I looked at him properly. He was tired and there were lines across his face and bags under his eyes. I wondered if he had eaten and if he had a place to sleep. His head was too big for his stature I noticed. He smiled again and I suddenly remembered Akin the drummer boy( one beggar boy from my primary school story books). But this wasn’t a storybook. This one was real. I wondered what his name was and how he could wear such a smile in the midst of all of life’s troubles.

The car was suddenly moving, traffic had eased. “Oh no!” I panicked. I hadn’t even given the beggar boy a thing. I had been too busy observing him. I took a last look at him as the car sped away, a tear tugging at my eye, all thoughts of my discomfort gone. What is his name? How does he feed? Where does he sleep? Does he go to school? …

It’s been two weeks and a few days but I still remember the beggar boy and his smile.

We have come home!

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She woke up and checked the time, it was morning already. The moon was giving way for the sun to begin its shift. She suddenly remembered and switched on her phone. There were pings. She read them and her heart skipped a little. The Bar finals results had finally been released after a long wait. Every 2012/2013 set student of the Nigerian Law school had anticipated this day wondering what it would be like. Well, here it was finally.

Feyi logged in to the website, it was already bookmarked on her phone with all the previous visits to the site the day before when everyone expected the results to have been released.

She took a deep breath, she had done her best. It was time to see how God would reward her labour. 13…. She typed in her exam no and what she saw left her dazed. She didn’t know what to do. Those seconds were like a moment frozen in time. She pinged a friend, “my love, God did it.” That was all she could type, still dazed. Her phone rang, it was her friend calling her, she picked it, her movement like that of a robot. I listened to her as her voice trembled. She stammered a bit. “What is it?” I asked again. “Its a first class,” she said. “I know,” I replied. She was awed, humbled, joyful. “He did it,” she repeated and kept saying that. We talked a little. After the call, she went on her knees to the floor, her face to the ground in worship.

Bella couldn’t sleep. She kept tossing and turning on her bed, agitated. Everyone in her house had told her the previous day to calm down when she kept asking no one in particular, “why can’t they just release these results?!” The people at home didn’t understand and she didn’t blame them. She was the one who wrote the Bar finals. She, it was, who knew what it felt like. She had been writing exams all her life but never had she anticipated a result like this.
She switched on her phone and the news had gone viral. Her heart did a somersault, it almost burst out of her. Her palms became all sweaty that cold night, fear was beating drums in her heart and head but her whole body was dancing to the beat. She couldn’t check the results, it was finally out but she couldn’t check it. However not knowing was killing her so in one swift movement she typed in her number.

Her eyes popped out of their sockets, she screamed, “yes,” right in the middle of the night. She had passed the Bar finals, for the rest of the day she couldn’t keep calm. Some people may have thought what she had wasn’t worth all her excitement but that was their cup of tea. Again, she was the one who wrote the Bar finals and now, she had passed. This was God’s biggest gift to her this year and she would let the world know it.

Dennis was excited, but he felt the tension too. Law school was trying to give everyone “HBP”. He wondered if someone was somewhere enjoying how tense the students was and chuckling to himself that well, we told them “from 31st” not “on 31st” . He shook his head, he didn’t want weird thoughts going through them. He wasn’t fazed. Let them release it when they want. He was expecting the best. He went to bed. He woke up to the news..at last!.
He quickly logged in and typed in his number, his heart racing. He wasn’t so excited, he had expected something more, he looked at it for a while, dropped his phone and mouthed “Thank you”. God was still God . He hadn’t gotten his expectation but he still had a very good result and he was grateful. Let the celebration begin!

Caramel had kept vigil and now the results were out. Her hands trembled, there really was nothing she could do anymore. So she typed in her number, and then she understood what a cold sweat meant. Tears streamed down from her eyes…inspite of her prayers, there it was, staring her in the face. Her future was ruined. She had failed the Bar finals.

Feyi sat thinking, she was still excited. What would happen from here? She had her future ahead of her and she was looking forward to each day of it. With the good shepherd on her side it will only get better.

Bella wondered what would happen next, she still wasn’t sure how things would work out, getting a good job and finding her place in the legal profession. What exactly was she meant to do? She believed in taking one step at a time, the pieces would fall into place.

Dennis knew what he wanted out of life, and he was going for it, as always not resting on his oars,still believing and knowing he would have the best of life.

Caramel felt she had no future anymore,her zest and energy was gone. She had cried buckets of water, her eyes swollen, but as she looked at the food before her which she couldn’t eat, someone was flashing images of men who had failed at different times of their lives in her mind. This men today were celebrated, she remembered reading about some of them. She drooped the spoon she had been fiddling with, got up and looked to the heavens. I won’t ask why anymore, its done already. Maybe I deserved to fail, maybe I didn’t. I will come out of this stronger, my future is not ruined, its not over except I say it is. This is just a set back and not the end of my life!

Feyi, bella, and Dennis went about the day’s activities with music in their heart, caramel joined them. Maybe not yet but she would make music out of this broken chords as she leaned on God. In the end she was the strongest of them all.

This piece is dedicated specially to Feyikemi Adagunodo. Congrats on your excellent result. I meant all I said that day. So I’ll only add this. I’m proud of the woman God is moulding you to be. It is also dedicated to all my NLS sweeties as well. In the words of a friend who quoted a poet. “We have come home, from the bloodless war, our boots full of pride” Congratulations! All roads lead to Abuja as we become ministers in the temple of justice. God’s graces now and always!
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Tips for single Men

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I have had some men complain to me about a lady’s attitude and sudden disinterest in them after their first few encounters. While I shared with some who were good friends and whom I knew had good hearts, some of the these tips, I simply listened and let the others who were so sure the ladies had attitudes keep thinking so.

Here are some of those tips:

THE DONTS

*Requesting pictures:
A lady added you on any of the social networks say BBM for instance, you say hi, introduce yourself and start asking her to send her pictures. Hello! Is she a model auditioning for a modelling contract with you? Please leave all that till you are friends enough!

*Unending calls:
Most ladies are unwilling to give their numbers to men and for good reasons. If she gives you her number, it doesn’t give you the liberty to call her at any hour of the day. Until you become friends or she laughs at your jokes, don’t bug her with calls. If she gives you mono-syllabic answers everytime you call, its a sign your calls are becoming unwanted.

*Pet names:
I know its a world where everyone is now a boo, sweetheart, love and the likes, but when you meet a lady for the first time, save the pet names till when you are friends and you are sure she doesn’t mind. Don’t just start calling her my wife, queen of my life etc. Some ladies would rather you not call or address them by pet names until friendship is established. A lady told me, “once they (Men) start using pet names I just start ignoring them.” Stop jumping the gun.

*Stalking:
One lady said she met a guy in camp, they got talking and they exchanged numbers. He was a perfect gentleman for a month and so, she felt safe enough to give him her BBM PIN since they had previously been chatting only via Whatsapp. That turned out to be a mistake. She said anytime she told him goodnight on BBM, he would go to Whatsapp to check if she was online and if she was, he would nag (yea, some men do nag) that she left him on BBM only to come chat with other people on Whatsapp. In her words, “dear, I ran for my life.”

Another lady said there was this guy who, because he knew where she lived would show up unannounced at her gate whenever she was leaving for work to sing to her the chorus of “I love you and want to marry you” and this, after two days of meeting her. You bet she ran for her dear life too.

While a lady wants to see a level of seriousness in a man, she doesn’t want a pest. So, don’t turn yourself into one. You are not a rodent, don’t bug her. Don’t behave like you own a right to her world. She had a life before she met you. If she says goodnight let her be. If she says she can’t go to the movies this week, don’t put her on the hot seat as to why not. Don’t act like she owes you the duty of spending time with you. Instead, politely ask for when she can make it. Whatever you do, don’t stalk her.

*Are these compliments?:
Everytime she changes her dp and uses her picture, you go all “you are sexy,” ” you are hot,” ” I love your curves,” etc. Excuse me, did you notice I have a brain and I’m not just a body? Mbok! she knows she’s beautiful. She doesn’t need a description of her anatomy from you. It sends the wrong signal, if you understand. “You are lovely,” “you are beautiful” would do and then, please, proceed to a “proper conversation.” Engage her mind in meaningful conversations not her body’s anatomy.

*Ah! Here, comes the let’s hook up:
“Let’s hook up. I want to take you out,”… Jeez! Some men would sing that song over and over again (and some have this funny way of saying it you wonder if they are talking to a hooker or a lady!). One lady said, “is he trying to brag that he has money?” And when you ask where? “Any Mr Bigg’s around your area” *eyes rolling* Like seriously? Really! Not all ladies are crazy about chicken and chips, shawarma and all. Plus, many can afford to get that themselves whenever they want, so be creative. There are many other guys waiting in line to get her that too. Make yourself stand out. Listen when she talks, pay attention so that you can have a glimpse of what she likes before your first date.

Some ladies prefer so many other things to KFC’s Crunchy Chicken. Some love to read. Book Reading isn’t a bad idea. Some love photography, nature, and so on. You want to give her a memorable first date that would make you linger in her memory.

Back at NLS, someone took one of my friends for a date. She had gone on different dates but she talked about this one till we left School. You see, she’s drawn to the artistic. So, he took her to a place where people come together to share a song, read books and poems. That touched her and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. She kept saying, “we love the same things.” That guy caught her attention from the rest who kept offering ice creams, pizzas and shawarma.

*When giving her a gift:
This is a follow up from the above and the same rule applies. Study her to know what would really get her. Don’t just assume its a Gucci bag. You see, anyone can give her that. So, its not the gift as much as the thought behind the gift. Some ladies would cherish even the “most little things.” Little acts of thoughtfulness and selflessness count as gifts too. Real ladies are looking for men who can nurture their mind. The key is set yourself apart from the other men ready with the Jimmy Choo’s shoes . In between, you can add those too. Every lady loves a good accessory. *winks*

*Proposal:
Even if you get a “rev,” this is for the very spiritual brothers that she is your wife . It is safer that you save it till you know her better. Contrary to popular opinion, not all ladies are desperate to marry. She may be among that percentage who wants to bag a degree and Masters before getting married.
Don’t meet a lady today and days later, start asking questions that makes it so obvious you are desperate to settle down. Eh! Did you think the word “desperate” applied to women alone? We have desperate men too.

Within days of meeting a lady, some men want to know her genotype, her virginal status, her past relationships, how many siblings she has…on and on. They have their “Top ten qualities my wife must possess” and you can feel them checking and ticking as they question you. Its like they are making this “the quest for a wife” Reality TV Show and you are auditioning for a place in it. When the lady starts withdrawing, they wonder what went wrong. Thing is, just like men run from desperate ladies, Some women run from desperate men too.

*Don’t ask her for another lady’s contact:
You just met this lady and then everytime you see any of her friends you want to have their contact too. You are only sending the signal that you are a skirt chaser. She’ll give you the contact but she would lose her interest in you and would be sure to tell the other lady you are a skirt chaser.

That is all for now folks.

Thank you for reading. Basically, when you meet a lady you like, be calm, be responsible, give it time, build a friendship, get to know her, so you’ll know what appeals to her and what doesn’t, show her you are a man not a boy, and even if it never progresses to a relationship, you would have earned yourself a friend.

I must add that you should pray too, that way you know which step is worth taking at all.

Shout out to the ladies who contributed to this post, Miss TFB, Lola, Ty, Lily-carol. Thank you, ladies. Have a swell weekend. Much love.

That Woman!

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She intrigues me. Yes! She fascinates me. I am drawn to her like a lover who cannot resist the object of his love. I see her in my mind’s eye and her picture is etched in my memory like hot iron on the skin of a slave!

She calls forth to me and I yearn for her. I can’t get her out of my mind and yet, reaching her seems to me to be an herculean task. The path she walks is not an easy one and I wonder if I can walk it. She patiently awaits me at the end of the path calling out to me to come join her, telling me I can walk the path and that upon reaching her, holding her would be my reward.

That woman I long for, whose thoughts fill my head and whose image I can’t get out of my head has been called a lot of names ranging from virtuous to fascinating and lots more.

Come, join me in the quest to reach that woman. Let us rock our world. Let us be fabulous yet not vain…Ah! That woman defines fashion, it doesn’t define her. We will be beautiful, we will adorn ourselves but with dignity while being beautiful where it truly matters.

Let us be knowledgeable and set the pace. Let us know what’s going on in our world without being conformed. This woman has been with her Lord. Let us spend time with Him too so people can see His glory in us and be drawn likes bees to honey. Let us strive for excellence. Let us go out and buy a field and not wait for a man to get it for us. Let us celebrate the men in our lives and make other men so jealous, they become faithful men to their own wives and single men thirst to find a woman like us.

No! We would not nag no matter how difficult it is. We would inspire and join him in fulfilling purpose. We are helpers, aren’t we? We will not be a thorn in his flesh.

Our children? We will raise them like Timothy. We will speak words of life over them right from the womb. We will not neglect them. We will attend to their physical, spiritual,financial and emotional needs and whatever may be the choice of our careers, busy schedules or business engagements, we will be there. We want to be that woman. Don’t we? A powerful influence in their lives we will be.

We will speak a word and people will listen because they see and know that we have something to say. We are not empty heads; not just another pretty face!

Oh! We will impact our world. Anyone who comes in contact with us must leave with something beautiful, maybe an inspiring word, a gift, a thoughtful action, a word of knowledge, an idea for success, a joke to lighten their worries, a smile to brighten their day, a hug to warm their heart, food to restore their strength.

We will not cast our pearl before swine. No! We will not stand by the roadside to flag down cars to pick us up while we exchange our pearl for that which is perishable. The aristos are not for us. We will work at making our own money because we are not greedy but contented. We know that it is just a matter of time and with hard work and diligence and that at the end of it all, we will have all what we need.

We will look before we leap when its time to make a choice. We have self esteem so sugar coated words don’t make us swoon. Our interest is aroused only at the sight of men who knows their onions, responsible men who know God and whom God knows. Men who can teach us, nurture us, cultivate us.

Ah!….That woman, can I be all of that? I looked at her again, seemingly so perfect and I sigh! She called again, urging me on. She is still as beautiful as ever, dressed in purple linen, fabulous as always, speaking beautiful words to me. “You can be me,” she said. “I am not a mere aspiration. You can see me in some women you know…come on…don’t stop…” She smiled and I was enthralled. I wanted that smile, that look of contentment she had having had this words spoken to her “many daughters have done well but you excel them all”. Oh how I long to have those words said to me…

So I dusted my feet, adjusted my skirts, leaving behind Low self esteem and her friend whose name is Insecurity. No way are they coming with me on this journey! I left past mistakes with her baggages. I didn’t need that load. she can very well stay behind where she belongs. And with head raised high, I took the step and reached forward to that woman to be that woman.