Saturday, 20 August 2016

FACE IT!

Amongst my fears is the fear of snakes, insects and reptiles. Anything that creeps and crawls irks me. They just make my skin crawl. But there are days when our fears stare us in the face, and the only option is to stare right back.

So, during my service year, the building I lived in with my friend Tawa, had a shortage of drying lines. The alternative was to go up the stairs to the building's deck, which had a layer of building blocks all round it, and spread the clothes on those blocks. However, beneath one side of the deck was a long and very thick stretch of bush, as it was rainy season and bushes grew fast; coupled with the fact that no one cared enough to employ someone to clear them. The bush was above thigh level in height.

As it happened, I had washed and spread my clothes as usual. I got back from the school I taught and went to the deck to get my clothes. On getting there, I found that half of the clothes I spread were missing. Instinctively, I looked down, only to see that they had fallen to the bush beneath. Immediately, I was thrown into confusion. My friend wasn't around and wouldn't be back for a while, I didn't have friends in the building and even if I did, I thought of how stupid it would sound to ask someone to help pick my clothes. They would look at me like "wetin do your hands and legs? Na me sabi enter bush abi".

To make things worse, the weather was changing and it seemed like it was going to rain. Do I leave my clothes in the bush for insects, reptiles and whatnot, and let it rain on the clothes I suffered to wash? Do I just walk away and forget about those clothes? Or the worst of all, do I dash into the bush to pick my clothes? What if a lizard jumps on me? (There were billions of lizards in that area) Worse of, what if a snake coils round my leg? Or even bites me?
By then, I was seriously fidgeting and sweating profusely. I stood at the entrance of the bush for about 30 mins, just looking, thinking and imagining the worst.

I was tired of standing, but much more afraid of going in. Then, I asked myself what's the worst that could happen. I recited all the protective Bible verses I knew, especially psalm 91, the part that said I shall trample on lions and serpents... then I rehearsed my race in my head.

I don't know how, it seemed like I was pushed, but I was in and out of that bush with my clothes before I could think.

The way I felt was indescribable...

Alas, I did it. I faced a fear that day and here I am telling the story!

BETTER AHEAD!

The worst has happened? Well, then, the best is yet to come!
Why?
The plans of God for his children are of good, and not evil; to give us an expected end. The expected end is simply glorious. So, until it ends in glory, it is not the end.

Joseph's destiny was glorious, therefore, it was contended, and it seemed to have been thwarted. However, he was catapulted into a training and preparatory period. His demotion for a period, led to eternal elevation.

So, be still and know He's God! Make the best of every situation...

WHAT REALLY MATTERS?

"How quickly poor grades are forgotten in the shadow of power and wealth"... Frank Underwood, from House of cards.

Simply put, first class degree, first position in class, and whatever academic achievements, mean little, if they do not transform to something tangible eventually! This is not to say academic excellence is worthless, but...

Let the wise pick the message, and the unwise, do whatever with it.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

TIMES & SEASONS ...

The whole world, as we know, operates on different time zones. For example, Nigeria is 6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, USA. That means when it's 2:00pm in Lagos, it's 8:00am in Washington. It doesn't end there. 

Even within a continent, and subregions, time differs in different locations. For example, Nigeria is 1 hour ahead of Ghana. So, when it's 1:00pm in Nigeria, it's 12:00pm in Ghana. They are both west African countries.

More interesting, is the fact that this phenomenon transcends even neighbouring countries, as it is applicable within some individual countries. For instance, within the United States of America, there are different times. The time in Las Vegas is different from that of Washington, which in turn is different from that of Denver.

Additionally, there are certain periods, yearly, in some countries, when the entire time changes, as a result of DST, where clocks are either wound forward or backward.

It's not just about time, but weather also. Nigeria is hot generally, but some places are known to be hotter than others. That is even far fetched. Have you ever seen where it rains in a place and just 10 feet away is as dry as a desert?

But why then, do we fail to recognize that this principle applies to we humans too, that we all have different times and seasons? While Mr A might build his mansion at 30, Mr B might attain such feat at 60 (or maybe never). 

There should be no rush or envy or unhealthy competition in life, as it is not a race where there are prizes for 'early arrivers'. Each has his track and should go at his pace. Each has his time, weather and season.

What many of us need to remember about time is that the fact that we are in so much hurry doesn't make the clock's hands move faster, neither does the fact that we need more time mean the clock's hands will go any slower. They all go at their own pace, which is a second at a time. And even when anyone goes ahead to manipulate what the time says, it only has effect on that particular timepiece. The actual time is what it is. Say Mr A puts his clock at 2:00pm, when the actual time is 6:00pm, the darkness outside when it's 8:00pm will testify that the 4:00pm, which Mr A's clock says, is wrong. You cannot manipulate global or standard time. So also, you cannot manipulate certain things in life without repercussions.

Just as a pregnant woman can't force her baby out preterm (except it's premature or a medical emergency) and when it's her time, she can't withhold the baby (except she has a death wish for her and her baby), certain things can't be rushed or slowed down. They happen at the appointed time...

DIARIES OF A FRUSTRATED GRADUATE

The worst thing that can happen to anyone is to merely exist.
When you wake up each day with no sense of purpose.
When time just passes by without any achievement.
When others are being productive and you just stay idle.
When others are sharing experiences and ideas and you just watch on.
When you are just stuck and don't know what to do with yourself...

NO TO VIOLENCE

I was in line to use the ATM. There were two people in line before me; a guy who was using the machine, and a lady behind him, who was directly in front of me. I noticed the guy had been using the machine for a bit, but I hardly ever complain, because who knows? He could have a series of withdrawals or other transactions to do, the machine could be annoyingly slow like some of them, or anything.
He was there before me, so I must allow him use his time. I don't like to be nagged when I am using the machine, so I dont nag others too. You hear people say rudely "sister, you wan collect all the money wey dey the machine?" Or "why you no go inside bank na, when you wan collect plenty money?". Sometimes, I play deaf, sometimes I give the commenter the eye and deliberately waste more time checking my balance like 9 times, sometimes I advise the commenter to set my transaction limit or "come and carry me"...

I guess the lady before me was genuinely curious as to why the guy at the machine was taking so much time. But sometimes, even the most innocent of intentions could come across as irritating.
The girl said something about withdrawing in larger sums as against smaller sums. The boy, obviously irritated, burst out sarcastically, saying "ehn ehn, na #10, #10 I dey withdraw, you see say I carry mat come here come sleep".

That was how the altercation started, resulting in insulting each other's families and generations. They both said so much to each other, like they had been enemies before. All those are relatively normal and I wouldn't be writing this post, if not for what I heard next.
The guy threatened to beat up the lady if she didn't keep quiet. I got interested at that point. Trust a typical Lagos girl not to go down without a show. She began to rearrange the scarf on her head, threatening fire and brimstone. He kept clenching his fist and stated that if it wasn't for the police guys around, he would have "busted her lips, broken her teeth and rearranged her"! I was shocked!!!

Number 2.

My mum and I were on our way home and saw two hawkers (a guy and a lady) engaged in a fight. The guy slapped the girl and shoved her to the ground. The girl jumped up and rushed at him like a lion. She grabbed something and continually struck him. It was a sugar cane but she kept hitting his head. In their case, the girl wasn't a docile victim, she didn't back down. She didn't make it easy for him at all. And I loved that...

Again, I wrote sometime ago about a man who viciously attacked a woman at covenant university, over a little argument.

I wonder at the culture of men thinking they can beat up women at home and anywhere even, simply because the other party is a woman. It says a lot about our society and the kind of training these guys had or what they grew up around. I mean, can't a woman and man have an argument without the man threatening to and actually beating her up?
Some say some women are just very provocative. Yea, right! How about giving her back whatever she says to you? How about walking away? If she doesn't touch you, why touch her? If it were a very muscular man, would the said man launch at him?

Friday, 22 January 2016

GRATITUDE...



...So, I opened the blog to keep myself abreast of the goings on, as I am not one to watch the news willingly; and I haven't had a newspaper in my hands for a long time. On the whole, blogs are more fun, period!

Then I saw the post of a beautiful 25 year old lady who died just very recently. Reading the story actually served as the slap I needed to be jolted back to thankfulness.

You see, that young girl had the world as her oyster, so to say. She was born and raised in the UK, had a great academic life there, from a good family with nice positions. She insisted on coming to Nigeria, as her aged grandparents stay here. She went for NYSC, got a good job offer, she had a car, etc. Upon all these, she was beautiful, had a nice body and is said to have been intelligent, that she only missed a first class in law by whiskers and even went ahead and
had a second degree. So by human standards, especially with the hardships in this part of the world, her life was really on point.

But then, death came! She was killed in an accident which is said to have been caused by a commercial bus driver. The said accident killed four people. Her car was badly damaged, she was taken to the hospital, later taken to the UK in an air ambulance, but she died!

To the point of this epistle:



You see, I hate public buses in this country. Each time I have to take one, I sulk. But despite the discomfort and craziness of it all, I have not perished. Not in them or by them.

When some of us lament on not having a car yet, remember people die in those correct cars daily that the hitherto beautiful car becomes a bloody mess of iron scraps.

If only I schooled abroad, the system there is better, etc! Well, remember some went and died there. Some were stabbed by friends, some murdered by stalkers, some died in plane crashes on their way back. Some came back but where are they today?

If only my parents were richer! Well, when it comes to it, even all the money in the world or best experts can't save your soul.

Why can't I just get a job! Well, the yorubas say the life of a job is longer than that of humans. Many had the best jobs, they died and someone else takes over. The job doesn't miss anyone.

In summary,  I AM GRATEFUL!!!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

NOTE TO SELF

NOTE TO SELF

It definitely doesn't look like it now, but it will end in praise. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former.

If there were no uglies, beauties would not be noticed,
If there were no sicknesses, health wouldn't be appreciated,
If there were no down times, the great times wouldn't mean anything,
If there were no poor, the rich wouldn't feel privileged,
If there were no sadness, happiness wouldn't exist,
Just like if there were no darkness, light would seem too normal and have no value.

Gold goes through the fire, that beautiful pottery was once just mud, those magnificent architectural edifices were once sketches, that tall tree was once a tiny seed, that river or ocean was once a puddle...

Everything takes a process, just some longer than others. But the finished product speaks...

LAGOS NA WA...

RANT TIME!!!

Using public buses in Lagos, especially for long distance trips is just torturous beyond words for me. There is absolutely nothing right with or about them.

To begin, 98% of drivers are suffering from psychosis, under the influence of drugs or (and) alcohol or are possessed by demons. I thought it's teachers' rewards that are in heaven? So why do those drivers act like they are teachers on a mission to get their rewards? And like I told one today, if he is in a haste to die, by all means, Nigeria and the world at large is over populated but I am team #snail on this one. I am not trying to die soon.

In their infinite wickedness, they could take one past one's stop, despite almost rupturing one's lungs and vomiting one's kidney screaming "owa ooo". Or worst still, drop one in the middle of a river like stagnant water (thanks to blocked or no drainages in Lagos) after it rains, with the excuse of "shebi na the bus stop be this" (That day at Ikeja along bus stop wasn't pleasant. It was either walk through the deep, dirty water or.... fly)

The conductors on the other hand are mostly dirty, smelly and rude, like they have a constitution which states how they must appear or be fired. I always avoid sitting at the extreme, close to the conductor because the armpit curse is real. When they begin to collect fares and give change, and their armpit comes over your face, your day will never be the same.

Then while in the bus, one is so squeezed, that sardines in this present economic situation have more room. The compression of humans and overloading bring about intense heat, second only to hell perhaps.

Like the situation is not bad enough, 99% of d buses are in terrible conditions, as they are vehicles from 1759AD. They leak when it rains, no windows or they are stuck. There are dangerous metals out to draw blood, as a result of bashings and no maintenance and as you are preoccupied with safeguarding your belongings from sharp thieves, you have to be bothered about HIV too!

Oh, how about the obnoxious sounds they make and fumes they emit!

Did I forget the "co-passengers"? Hygiene is a big problem for many. Some think because we are in the bus together makes us best friends. Some people even go ahead to fart in already hot and uncomfortable buses. What wickedness!

Then some others just scream so loudly, all in the name of making calls. I just slap them a billion times in my head! Some will cough or sneeze into your face, spit while giving unsolicited advice. Then there are those men or deranged perverts who try to or (and) actually tap current from females.

Now, I know we all can't be slim. Yours truely is a good example, but why must I be at the receiving end, with those bigger people pushing me with their rotund anatomy, almost squashing all my own fat out of me?

Going out in a bus and putting on a white attire is a big mistake cos on arrival to your destination, you and everyone will know it was once white...

O.Y.O = ON YOUR OWN...

In the book of Judges, chapter 14 precisely, Samson and his parents went to Timnah to get him a wife. While out, Samson came across a lion, which he tore with his bare hands and killed. His parents were not aware of that.

Few days later, on their way back, Samson checked the carcass of the lion, and found a swarm of bees and honey on it. He scooped some of the honey to eat and took some for his parents. They ate. END OF STORY!

Looking at this story, Samson confronted this lion on his own, no one knew about it, no one was there to help him. Perhaps, if people were around, they might not even help him, but watch in amazement.

However, when it was time to eat the honey, his parents enjoyed part of it. (The case of his parents is even justified). If other people were in their company, they would have enjoyed their share too.

When many people are battling their demons, facing challenges, hustling, struggling, etc, they are majorly on their own. This gives credence to the saying that "the journey up, or to success, is a very lonely one". There is usually very little or no help.
Alas, when others see that you are a little comfortable, or even still struggling, they begin to rare their heads, coming out to have their share of your sweat. Many even come across with "ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY", like you owe them anything.

If many consider the stress, hardship, insults or whatever that they pass through before getting their money, they won't give a dime to anyone. But then, the bible says "give and it shall be given unto you..."

Conclusively, there is time to give, and there is time to conserve. He who does not work, should not eat...

God bless those real hustlers, hardworking people, honest people, striving and toiling to make a living for themselves and their immediate family. May they enjoy the sweet fruits of their labour for a long time...