WE CAME WITH NOTHING , WE WILL LEAVE LIKEWISE

Time flies there is no doubt about that … amazing how i see pictures of my primary school class mates on social media and think ” wow! that old ?” as i stare at the wrinkles and grey hair …but i forget that  makeup and highlights on my hair do wonders  …hehe.. somewhere in my mind i am still 21 …please dont ask me “qweshun”… I mean not too long ago , i attended an aunty’s 40th birthday party and i remember thinking to myself that ” her time is running out ” , and here i am …wow !

Life is fleeting and i guess it is only natural at this stage in my life , to seek explanations to the meaning of life . Somehow , we seem to have gotten many things wrong .

have you noticed that stress becomes one of your closest pals in life from birth ? the stress of feeding , getting diapers changed , jabs that you don’t understand ,sitting , crawling , oh and the major stress of walking …. going to school , going to secondary and probably boarding school, understanding who you are , the stress of WASCE , then just when you think its over , you are introduced to big brother stress, the university …tutorials, assignments , projects , deadlines …phewwww! You finally graduate and more stress , you start seeking employment ….there is no end to it . A good day in Lagos traffic pretty sums up the life we live .

This is why i cant understand how we want to add stress to an already stressful world. How can you think that you can connive with people at your work place and embezzle hundreds of millions of tax payers money, for instance and it will be well with you ?

so you accumulate millions of dollars in your account , buy houses in the choicest places in the world , buy cars , clothes , shoes and jewellery but on the day of Death’s visit , you depart without taking even a farthing of your earnings whether legally or illegally acquired.

Mother Theresa said riches should be quantified by how much we have stored in our hearts and not our bank accounts .

Alexander the Great was a famous , powerful and rich Greek King of Macedon. His Final wishes about his funeral were that:

1) His physician should bring his Coffin home alone.

2) His gold, silver and precious stones be scattered along the path to his tomb

3)His hands should hang outside the Coffin during the funeral procession .

He said he wanted his people to understand the three lessons in life that he had learned .

1) A physician cannot really cure people’s illnesses, in the face of Death , they are powerless.

2) The people should not imitate him as he spent the better part of his life storing treasure for himself . There is more to life that accumulating wealth , he said

3) we came to this world in empty hands and we will leave also in empty hands .

How true ! so if we leave with nothing , why do we accumulate so much wealth at the expense of all other things ?

2016…A new year , new changes ….Let us think about what matters in life the most …  Blessings always !

 

“LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX!”

Most of us grew up learning about sex from everywhere except our homes, everyone ,except our parents . SEX was a sacred word not to be heard from the mouths of children , any question in that direction might warrant serious slaps and uncountable koboko lashes ! We learned from our peers, books and “blue film” as it was called then. By the time an average teenager clocked 15 way back in those days , he/she was more informed theoretically ,at least , if not practically than the parent(s). Some of those teenagers are still paying , a generation after for the warped ideas of sex that they had imbibed , whether as unhealthy sexual appetite, unfaithfulness, rigidity …the list is endless.

The importance of sex education in the age we live in cannot be overemphasized , what with the “explosion” , for lack of a better word , of Technology . A research done by Owens in 2012 ,on the effect of sexually explicit material as enabled by modern technology concluded that the growth of the internet also meant easy access to sexually illicit material. We cant doubt that the internet has grown in leaps and bounds , so why do we think that its okay to expose our children to technology ( which by the way , is very necessary ), and assume that they wont access this area?

In our days , we had to search for it but now, it “pops up” even when we are not looking .  The world is full of different ideas about what sex is and what it does , you need to talk to your wards about it before someone else does …..HOUSE-HELP,DRIVER, UNCLE , AUNTY, CLASSMATES, TEACHERS…YOU SHOULD BE “NUMERO UNO”!

In my opinion your child’s age should not be ” 2digits” before you have this conversation . Before his or her 10th birthday , you should have initiated a situation where you can “talk about sex “.

May the Almighty protect our children from evil, as we do the needful !

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 !