WHEN TERMITES CHOP YAM MORE THAN GOATS !

Nigeria is such a blessed country .. It is only by God’s Grace that we are still an entity today . Corruption is hoisted higher than the National Flag. IT IS FUNNY THAT WHEN WE THINK ABOUT CORRUPTION, WE ONLY BLAME OUR LEADERS …”THE GOATS EATING THE YAMS”…..BUT THERE ARE TERMITES …MILLIONS OF THEM , EATING THE YAMS TOO….

So you are selected to head a government parastatal…the papers carry the news of ur appointment , u give testimony and do thanks giving …after party too…5 months later ur house in the village don reach roofing , new school session children now schooling in ” overs”…madam just opened shop at the mall… Baba is working wonders ..buh u figure nobody knows that the salary of ur workers ( 14 months arrears ) was paid as u resumed office , meanwhile u tell them ” ur excellency is on top the matter “… They sell their vehicles, their kids are thrown out of school, they have taken community loans to pay community loans…

So you work at the Examinations board , your office is where “they perform miracles with students results “, lots of cash changing hands here…everybody gets their share …so of course ..you inclusive

what of you , the spiritual head of your organization , you are well aware of your members who are involved in very shady deals…but they are very consistent in offerings and tithes …and u have multi million naira projects to do “for the lord”…so you turn the other way

The government  sends you on a conference, you spent 1000 dollars but while writing your report , you “mistakenly” add another zero, i mean you are not good in mathematics so these mistakes spring up regularly…..

THE TERMITES ARE AS GUILTY AS THE GOATS …LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING ANT TRAPS AT WORK SOON..GOD BLESS NIGERIA !

UNSUNG

i have had this turning in my mind for a few days now, it is not written to put any one  down, i do understand that in my writings as much as i try , my bias could show up from time to time.

In the short while that i have known me , i have concluded that i am a ” people person ” . I am happiest when i do what i can to make people around me more comfortable. I guess this might be the reason that my mentors are Mother Theresa and MLK. I also realize that we are all so different and see things thru different lenses. For this reason i will like for  you to read it objectively and take whatever part you find useful just so that we can make this “world a better place “.

A few days back , one of my workers buried his child, who had cerebral malaria. Her admission triggered the thoughts that have been churning in my mind for days now.

We definitely live in different times. lets take career choices , for instance ,i wanted to read sociology in education , my mum was vehement , insisted i must read pharmacy, i hated it but had no choice … i studied it …and many years later , i have found myself smack in the middle of my first love, sociology in education.

So i try the same method with my child ( ok ok…I am ashamed of it, but its the truth ) . ..the pikin no gree ooo..i soon found out there was little i could do.  So now we observe, our children aspiring to be footballers, “basketballers”, DJs, Musicians, Actors/Actresses, software designers….all sorts of courses now that u would have gotten ” classical ifoti” to even suggest  in our days …hehehe.

What is interesting about these careers is that you cant choose ’em just for the heck of it , its either you have it in you or you don’t … This is what makes them special….but the money that these careers can churn out tho….wowww…., the fame , the glory that goes with it .

Musicians here in Nigeria,have never had it so good , as in this dispensation… some songs sef ….not that you understand exactly what it is trying to communicate ..e.g.  ” take it..uhm..take it ugh..Alhaji…ehn ehn “???? itumo??? hehehe… but dollars rolled in .. and ” omo baba olowo” eventually ” l’owo ju daddy ooo”, however, you cant blame us , the society doesn’t help, so we watch music videos, that show the dollars, then the next thing is ” mo fe ra Ferrari  bobo, fly to parisi bobo”.. and the babes move in …in droves, and man soon realizes, that ” she still wants Ferrari, Bugatti plus my love o”.  So the music world presents a life style of dollars, babes, Bugatti,bling …ooo and Hennessy too…

Please don’t get me wrong , i agree that if you made the money you should enjoy it , move up in the social strata, buy new house, new cars , clothes , shoes…( BTW i find MTV’s ” my crib” very nauseating , abi na just me??…ah when one man has 40 pairs of shoes..and dozens that he has never worn before….tor…i think stuff can be done differently, but then like i said earlier , that’s just my opinion.

In recent times the musician that has ” stolen my heart ” has to be Akon …we all know about his present project providing electricity, i know of many missionary projects , in Africa, providing water , a bore hole costs may be 1.5 million ?? an industrial one can serve some villages, Bill Gates continues to invest in this African Scourge called malaria, Angelina Jolie has charitable interests in Africa. What about Bono??? That man has been a blessing to millions . There are people , maybe not as famous , who invest in research , yes, cancer and HIV labs , they contribute millions of dollars, euros, pounds towards this.

i will like to think our super stars are investing into the society too, the one that comes to mind is Dbanj and  his education charity called ” Mr Capable foundation “,but assuming that a number are not, this will be a good time to ” shakiti bobo”, and invest in our communities, help the fight  against malaria, provide portable water , invest in education do whatever you can, how ever little it is , to help the unsung … You cant touch the world by spending your hard earned money on just you and your own , but by how many of the unsung you reached with your songs ….AND your proceeds ,after all ” we are the world “.

 

THE NIGERIAN PIDGIN LANGUAGE : MAKING GIANT STRIDES .

I am at the moment doing some sociolinguistic survey , and i realize how blessed we are as a Nation. Nigeria , we are told, has one of the highest linguistic concentrations in the World . We have 505 living indigenous languages (there could be many more not on record ).

This explains to an extent , the advantage of English language . It can be argued that the original intent of English language domination was imperialistic or even capitalist in nature , but English has served as a unifying language in our multilingual society.

Realistically, when there is language domination , the dominated language is gradually lost but often times, a new language is formed , usually a mix between both languages involved .

In the not too distant past , Pidgin language was seen as the language of the “unschooled”.  I was raised in a “middle class ” family , my father being a civil servant , mother a Nurse and later a business woman .( we know that there is no middle class again ooo…tinz don change , hian !) Pidgin was the language spoken to the driver and gardener ( but never the mai guardi …hausa man if u dont understand his language , na u sabi, hehe). I dont remember what the driver did, but he told a lie, in an attempt to speak pidgin , i heard my mum say ” na lie be the lie wey you dey lie “…Ahh… the driver and gardener laughed so hard that day .

I think it is safe to say that Fela Anikulapo-Kuti , was the first to bring ‘swag” to pidgin thru music , there were other musicians obviously ,but his music made the average person appreciate Pidgin….. he went to the very prestigious university of Manchester , and so could speak the “Queen’s English ” but chose to speak pidgin , because he was able to reach both the educated, non-educated, all classes of people in terms of social status .

In recent times , Music has been one of the carriers of the Pidgin language in Nigeria, with songs like “Dorobuchi” and ” Na Godwin” to name just a few . African Movies are not left out , a number of successful ones have a good mix of English and Pidgin, one of my favorite movies in recent times ” 30 days in Atlanta ” , testifies to that ! Do I even need to mention the number of TV and radio shows , presented in Pidgin language .

There is no doubt that Pidgin language is gaining ground in the linguistic map of Nigeria. it has been stated that over 70 million Nigerians have it as a second language . Some speak it because that is the closest to English in terms of communication , however, there is a group i notice, who speak as a matter of choice .Since the whole essence of language is to enhance communication and therefore development , it is about time language policies are given another look , to see what can be done with the Nigerian Pidgin Language .. because , as i dey see am so, e dey hia to stay, e  no go waka go  at all at all ….hmmm!

The Audacity of Change

Every human on the face of this earth , deep down in his being wants change , wants something different , wants something better , maybe not better but something “new”. We work hard , so we can change our social, financial and psychological Status. Migration occurs because we want change . One of the reasons for this desire is usually a dissatisfaction of our present status . So you have been able to build a 4 bedroom house in one of the estates in Lagos… that’s a change compared to when you were renting apartments just a few years back ….but your eyes are on the 3 bedroom flats at lekki…smaller house, smaller compound but better location …you don’t mind this change , so you are willing to put your house up for sale so that you can buy into this “change”.

One thing can be considered the brakes in the desire for change ….UNCERTAINTY …how do you know for sure that your family will be more secure at lekki? how can you tell that this job offer will open more doors than the last ? how do you know what will be sitting in your account by the end of the year ….THE TRUTH? YOU JUST DON’T KNOW … and its ok …i mean not to know, this is part of the adventure ….it takes GUTS to get up and move when you have to …that is the Audacity of Change …

WHO OWNS PAPA’S LAND?

The book of beginnings , that is what the Good Book calls it , has a wonderful creation story …In the beginning , God made the heaven’s and the earth . It then goes further to give a “line upon line ” detail of what was created , when and how….God said, and there was ….then it was day and night , the next day and God said …and there was ….finally , it tells us about the “Why”….   ” Let us make man in our image , after our likeness and let him have authority over all creation ” ..and He formed man from the dust ….hmmm….he made the land first , made other things and days later, made man.

It is appalling indeed, how often one reads in the papers about land disputes and the number of deaths recorded in the brawl. villages against villages and even brothers of the same parents against each other , over LAND.

when one thinks about it though, the land has been here long before we came into existence and the land will be here long after we expire . So war breaks out between two communities , over land , people are killed and have to be buried , they then add to the volume of the land …the land they were claiming ownership of ! how can we own what owns us ?

I am of the opinion that we do not OWN the land , but rather , OWE it …it’s a debt we must pay someday , sooner or later , we all have to go 6 feet under !

stop the communal clashes, family feuds over land….” all fight no be fight “…..pick your fights wisely

” DADDY DISTINCTION “

Way before i took up studying about counseling children, there has always been some form of attraction . They find it easier to talk with me . Children have been talking to me for more than 25 years . One thing , though , at least 90% of kids that i have spoken with ,know their parents try hard to put up a “superman act “.

Due to the fear of failure , and you can understand the point of the parent , I am a parent too and i have walked that path , parents attempt different vices in other to make their children excel in school . We reward their success , and nothing wrong with that , promise them the moon if they excel….hmmm…or even threaten or bully them to excelling …. and when i say excel , i mean obtain ” straight A’s” , for some parents ,a  B is mortal sin …

First of , experts will prove to us that the fact that a student obtains the Almighty A does not mean that education has taken place . We need to be focused here, why do we want our children educated ? Is it to keep up with “Joneses” ? To move up quickly in the ladder of success ? ( who doesnt want their kids to succeed ?) So that they can afford to send us on a cruise to the Bahamas in our old age?

The Human Capital theory informs us  that humans like machines can increase productivity when investments are made , especially,in their education . So quite a number of us see investing in our children , in the area of education as a means of obtaining returns in the future , and in my opinion, rightly so ! No sane person will want to invest without the hope of making profit .

This  drive can explain why every daddy , and some mummies  “came first” from the labor room !Let’s pause and reflect here for a while….. I will have you know that some students work really hard , yet are not consistently A students .  Oh yes, we live in highly competitive times and the system of “knowledge economy ” and ” globalisation ” is subtly turning our children to Robots , such that the average child is MISERABLE in school ! this ought not be !

Dear parent , often you become a stress factor to such children. They begin to feel stupid , some might consider cheating so as  to please you . have you thought about that ?

Now , to create balance here, we must also not loose sight of the fact that average teenager does not know why they are in school ( BTW neither did most of us , although we seem to have “forgotten” that ..hehe) and so don’t see any reason to make an effort , we need to ” prop them up “, not by bullying them but encouraging them , even if it means setting up a REASONABLE reward system. I mean, just because your child makes a distinction in school , you decide to get him an Ipod,Iphone, Ipad …..are you sure that you are not setting him up for an ” Ifail”?

The safest conclusion is that you need to know your child as an individual , no two children are same. Know their abilities and their capabilities and encourage them to be the best . The best that they can be is all they need to be to fulfill their God given purpose. A child once asked me ” if all our parents came first in school, who came second ?” . and my reply was ” I don’t know, may be those that came second don’t have children yet… LOL …..You are his/her hero, dad, distinction or not !

 

 

WE FALL DOWN, BUT WE GET UP !

I must have been about 11 years old then. It was on the Assembly ground , Monday morning assembly , where every “living thing ” on the school premises must converge to hear the Principal ” rant and rave “. As usual , he took way more than time allocated and we had to move quickly to get to class and save what we could of the time left for the first lesson.

I was still a junior student , but i was in year 2, you see, which means that there was a group of students who called me “senior “. I did not see it , obviously or i wouldn’t have tripped over it …..but I DID ….and I FELL DOWN….on the assembly ground , in the presence of my seniors and juniors . As a preteenager i just wanted to die , i could not bear the shame of standing up . So i did what any normal person would , I burst into tears ! I was pained . Not by the fall per se, but by the shame that accompanied the fall. Some friends came to help me up , others pretended that they didn’t see me and walked , that just made me feel more pain . And there were those who mocked , you would have thought that “THEY HAD NEVER FALLEN BEFORE “!!!!

Our walk with the Lord can indeed be best described as in John Buchanan’s “pilgrims progress’. it comes with diverse seasons, terrains and circumstances. The truth is that there will always be times in our lives when we “fall “. This happens to all of us , you are not an exception , and yes you will feel ashamed , like you just want to be dead ….the truth is you are NOT …that is why you feel the pain . There will be friends who will try to help you up, stretch out your hands towards them …its ok, you need that extra push to get you back on your feet. and yes you will be shocked by those who will walk away …it does not matter though. its at times like this that you know whose got your back, don’t hold a grudge , no human on earth is worth that stress !! . let them talk , let them gossip and judge , what is important is that YOU FELL DOWN BUT YOU GOT RIGHT UP …..the journey is still long …just keep walking .. May the Grace of the Almighty wrap itself around you like a warm blanket on a cold,dusty and windy night .

REQUIRED TO INQUIRE

Welcome to the Month of March! We cannot thank the Almighty enough , this indeed is a work and a walk of Grace….pure, undiluted and Amazing Grace .

You will need to excuse and allow me to sound “churchy” today, which BTW is Sunday but also because the issue of concern which i will talk about involves the church , i promise however that it will be a good Read , so here we go.

I actually picked up my Bible today to read the historical story of how Jehoshaphat , the King of Judah, after inquiring from Jehovah , went to war with the praise singers , marching in front of the Army….then my eye caught this story and i began to think …and here we are ..LOL!

2 Chronicles 18.. Jehoshaphat had everything going for him, wealth, health , fame…life was good . He had a kinda collabo with the king of Israel, Ahab, the MSG translation of the Bible calls it “marriage alliance’.. what is mine is yours , who i am you are , what I’ll be you’ll be ! Verse 2 says but Ahab had a hidden agenda … chaiii…honestly in my short life , and i am very very young ..hehe, no creature terrifies me like the human being . I am not as terrified of demons , ojuju , mad dogs as i am of “man”..because NO ONE, knows a man except his spirit. I mean, here was Jehoshaphat, plain and simple minded , making a marriage alliance with someone that had a “hidden agenda “!!!! wow! always remember this NOTHING BUILT ON LIES IS BUILT TO LAST ..its always a matter of time.

Ahab wanted to go to war and asked jehosh, who of cause  agreed to go with him , after all there is a drawn contract, covenant .

He only asked for one thing ,LET US INQUIRE FROM THE LORD

The king of Israel gathered 400 prophets together, do you know that until today i assumed they were prophets of Baal? after all its the same Ahab abi? but it dawned on me if they were not prophets of Jehovah, the Bible would have said so, someone says ” but these are obviously false prophets ” , yessss, the bible also calls Balaam, the prophet of Jehovah, a false prophet …..tor!

anyway, the prophs ALL agreed ” go and kill ’em sayeth the Lord , Victoria ascertia !”…hmmm

Jehoshaphat wasn’t comfy , so he asked ” is there another prophet of Jehovah (so it means the 400 were prophets of Jehovah )? lets go for a second opinion .

verse 10 says ” All the prophets were staging a PROPHECY-PERFORMANCE for their BENEFIT.

the messenger from the king told Micah , All the others have agreed so say same thing  .. Let me be honest here, stories have been flying around that cash has been transferred to Men of God concerning the month of March , there is no evidence that I am aware of , but if it is true..NO BE TODAY OOOO… it happened with Balaam, it happened with these prophets . the Good book according to the Bible is God’s word to us for instruction, information IN OTHER WORDS , This scripture that we have just read  is not a disney story…it happened , it is happening ,it will still happen ….to be continued.

 

 

 

 

THE WAITING ROOM

When I think about what goes on in the mind of the man who sits in the waiting room ,for the cry of the baby he is yet to see and the news that his wife is alive and well , I cant but conclude that we have a lot of ” brave hearts ” out there. Is it the battle with terrible thoughts of “what if ” ..the constant staring at the Clock whose second hand seems immobile ? what i think makes waiting horrifying is that you are not absolutely sure what the outcome will be.

This age which i will refer to as the “instant ” age, has experienced innovations in leaps and bounds , we now have instant coffee, instant noodles, instant access to information , microwave cooking ..Dare we forget the good old days of letter writing , when we will write letters to our parents and wait for 2 weeks before we get the reply..now that can be done in an instant ! ping dad and even if he is in a meeting …u will get an “hey kid wassup ?”…instant is good , technology ,great , BUT this has affected immensely our ability to wait.

The good book tells us about people who had to wait ….for the promise that the Almighty made to them . Abraham had been promised that he will be the father of many nations ,the promise was made to Abraham when he was 75, the promise did not actualize till he was 100? What about David ? He was anointed king and had to wait well over 10 years to sit on the throne ;after several attempts on His life , we wont even talk about the time he had to live with Goliath’s people in order to be in safety ( no wonder he said he prepares a table in the presence of my enemies..LOL!!)…if i were Dave, honestly at that point in time , the Almighty had berra be talking ooo..hehe.

What about the dreamer ? he had a dream, he had yet another dream…but there was no dream about Joseph being betrayed by his brothers, Potiphar’s wife wrongly accusing him , what about all those years he spent in prison , for what he didn’t do ? MW when Pharaoh declared that all must bow to Joseph after he was made governor , Potiphar was still in office , so he had to bow too…the question is why didn’t Joseph take his revenge then ? could it be BECAUSE OF WHAT HE LEARNED IN THE WAITING ROOM. David wrote most of his psalms…that have laid foundation for  majority of praise / worship songs today , in the waiting room. The waiting room can be what it should be, the shaping room , where character is shaped , while you wait .

 

There is this Calabar girl I know..i call her DJ El-Soupin…when she cooks soup…wow…. But she can spend hours on end cooking the soup, and sometimes i find the wait quite frustrating …HOWEVER,when it is ready and I am sitting right in front of a bowl of her soup, finger-licking, i know without doubt that it was worth the wait ….

“Wait for the Lord ; be of good courage , and He will strengthen your heart ; wait I say on the Lord 27:13

OF THE “SAINT” AND “SCENT”

There are very few things that i really love. I know that the average woman loves jewellery , that will probably mean that i am not the average woman . I love bags though … in fact i will rather buy a bag than a set of “gold” ! imagine ! dont bother i have heard all points raised in defence of “gold” ..u can always sell it when you get tired of it , my friends say …BUT …I love bags.

Another love i have is PERFUMES… if i ever have to go window shopping , a vice that i loathe. i will end up in the perfume section , collecting samples … i love perfumes. my sister in law introduced me to perfume by “Narciso Rodriguez ” WOWWWWW….strong , beautiful, captivating …every time i wear it , i get people ask “what are you wearing ?”..

.it has a powerful way of staying behind even after the wearer has “left the building”….i brought out a dress today , had not worn it for ages…I sniffed …hmmm…this dress had worn Narciso at some time ,OBVIOUSLY,….soooo…sunday morning ..u hop out of bed…HIS bed…(you see he had been” putting a ring in it” ,BUT its ” okay,U figure ,he will put a ring on it …SOMEDAY”…anywayss…u hop outta…quick bath…head to Church….so happens u r the CHOIR LEADER …….WORSHIP?awesome….the Spirit was present as USUAL….to save, to heal to deliver …..YOU FEEL GUD ….THE ANOINTING IS HERE …” God must be pleased “, U try to convince urself …..hmmm…Narciso Rodriguez…strong fragrance…even after it has ” left the building”….