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Category Archives: Hall of Fame

Who Stole My Childhood?

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I was at a kiddies birthday party on Sunday and during the dance competition a couple of us watched in horror as girls aged 5-11 danced in ways that would have made my grandmother turn in her grave. They touched their non-existent breasts in what must have been mock seduction and gesticulated at their vajayjays while writhing their waists in ways that would shock Iyanya!

These girls were too young to be dancing like strippers on a payroll. I made such a fuss about it wondering where their parents were. Alas the parents were there enjoying their meals and mildly amused by the dances and get this, they would beam from ear to ear, every time the crowd went wild, seemingly proud that their young children were the queens of ‘robo robo’ dancing.

What happened to those days when parents would smack a child for being too worldly wise? What happened to savouring youth and enjoying their childhood? What happened to ‘aunty-give-me-cake dresses’ and cartoons? The kids at the party preferred to watch Merlin and African magic, they could dance the azonto and etighi better than most and could seduce any Tom Cat with their body language even though many of them were still too innocent to grasp the sexual innuendoes. What’s happening to our children? Who is training them these days?

As I watched them in shock and confusion, I allowed myself think. I wondered what would happen if one of the men at the party who was watching with rapt attention was a paedophile. I wondered what would happen if the rest of their innocence was stolen away! I wondered what would happen when I brought children into the world- I had a good mind to terminate my DSTV subscription and ground them till they were 21. But how about school? How would I stop them from growing up too fast? The world has surely made raising kids a ridiculously hard job for good parents.

A while back my cousin told me about a 5year old who was asked to dance at a party and she kept saying “wait” while looking around furtively for something. She eventually found it. A pole!!! She put one tiny hand on the pole and another on her waist and started shaking her small bombom. Our little girl had decided that being a pole dancer was the way to go. Is pole dancing common in Nigeria? No! Do parents take pre-schoolers to strip clubs? No! So what the hell is the problem? I was reading some comments on a blog and a reader mentioned that her 6 year old was sad when one of the housemates in Big Brother Africa was evicted and I must have shouted out loud.

MOMS IT IS NOT OK TO WATCH CERTAIN PROGRAMS WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE ROOM!

In case you don’t know, television has age restrictions on many programs. Those age restrictions are put there for very good reasons. And as for stations without obvious age restrictions like MTV and Channel O, please realise that children copy what they see and many music videos and movies have strong adult themes.

A child whose childhood is stolen from her grows up to be an adult who’s missing a piece of the puzzle.
Some of them get abused by mentally unstable adults and a lot of them spend long years experimenting and trying to ‘find themselves’. Some die, some get HIV and some turn to a life of crime, others grow up to be the next generation of mentally unstable adults…and the saga continues.
Life is in stages and every stage is just as important as the next. I know many parents are too busy tryna make enough money to pay bills, put food on the table and send their kids to good enough schools but that isn’t all parenting is about. Would you leave your child to be trained by Lady gaga, Beyonce, Wizkid and the other MTV stars? Would you leave your child to be trained by Tonto Dikeh, Mercy Johnson and our Nollywood actresses? These people are paid to entertain and NOT to train up your kids so don’t even think about blaming them!
Sigh…really should your child get first hand knowledge about life, sex and love from their peers, social media and GOOGLE?
The funny thing is, if you remove these ‘contaminants’ from them without filling the void with love and constructive replacements, you’ll have a bunch of kids who pretend, just to keep you happy but can’t wait to experience the world every chance they get. Sigh…

I think rather than blaming the media and the world at large, every parent ought to take a stand to bring up their child in a way that would make him or her an adult they would be proud of. Parents need to make sure their children get the required moral, cultural, religious and social training they need and it’s NOT enough to discipline and deprive these children, practise what you preach, be interested in their activities, give them love and attention and keep them in your prayers. There’s no middle ground here. You either take an interest in your child’s development or the world will do it for you. There’s more to being a parent than just putting food on the table. God help us all…

Children are our future, I want a bright future, do you?

Have a great day chutzpah fam.
Xoxoxo

 
12 Comments

Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Hall of Fame, Inspirational

 

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Memoirs of an unrepentant Bachelor…

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My name is Gbenga, you can call me the bachelor. I’m 37, I have my own business and live in a posh apartment. I have two cars and no babymama. Ok I’m not counting Seyi cos no matter what she says that kid ain’t mine. Let me start by telling you about Seyi, we dated for a while. She’s the typical Lagos banker. Light skinned, Brazilian hair with a Brazilian butt to match and the first time she walked past me in that oh so tight pencil skirt her butt gasping for air, I knew she was the mother of my children. Seyi turned out to be as needy as a toddler and she practically drove me insane with her marriage talk. One day I found a secret folder on her laptop and that was when I knew she had to go. The babe had planned her wedding even up to the songs the DJ would play. I’ll admit her wedding gown wasn’t bad but it irked me that she had a picture of her in it. Like seriously. And when I saw my picture which I was expecting as the groom along with two other possible grooms I freaked out. She was my girlfriend and I loved her but apparently I was just a pawn in her get married or die trying scheme. I broke it off with her that evening and almost laughed out loud when she seized the opportunity to tell me she had misplaced her period. Dude you better find it, maybe you should ask the other two grooms *rolling eyes. Nine months later a very igbo-yellow baby pops out of her and she sends me a pic via whatsapp (hiss). I blocked her there as well. Should’ve done that when I deleted her from my BBM. Anyway haven’t heard from her since so maybe groom number two (or three) turned out to be the father. Ok so that’s that with Seyi. She was girlfriend number 9 and I won’t even count the flings or friends with benefits (don’t judge). Anyway let’s just say I’ve been around for a while and I’ve seen it all and done it all -Ok almost all. When a guy is as successful as I am, after a while his friends figure out that finding a woman isn’t his problem and they give up the matchmaking. Somebody shout hallelujah! Anyway 10 is my lucky number and I hope that when I meet her she’ll make me hang up my boots for good but while I wait, here are 10 things you should know about me;
1. All those marriage sermons and prayer points do not apply to me. The other day I was sitting in church and the pastor asked all the single people in church to come out for a special anointing. I just sat there. I am single by choice and it ain’t a problem or a disease and my grandfather definitely had nothing to do with it, heck the dude had 8 wives. Anyway there I am staying put with a smug smile on my face and then I catch Deaconess Bola glaring at me. That woman has been less than subtle in her matchmaking escapades and for years I’ve politely avoided her daughter Bisi whom I noticed was the first to stand up when the pastor’s call came. Shuo na by force?
2. No more drama. I have gotten to a stage in my life when I can sniff out a woman who has got drama better than a police dog sniffs out drugs. The nag, the attention-seeker, the ratchet, the bully, the vicious woman, the one with the acid tongue, the control-freak, the pathological liar, the one with daddy issues, the insecure one, the one with the temper; they all spell drama to me and at 37, I’d rather go to bed alone with peace of mind than fall asleep in the arms of a Kim Kardashan look-alike who’ll be giving me hypertension the very next minute and to think some men are stuck with this for better or worse till death? Olorun maje oooh!
3. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! I tried it with my dog Max and he just sat there eyeing me with a very bored expression on his doggy face. It’s the same with me. I moved out of my parents house at 26 and for 11 years I have cooked the same way, cleaned the same way, put my shoes in a particular place, arranged my house in a certain way and kept my socks in order. I’m meticulous, fastidious and a tad obsessive-compulsive. Ada learnt that the hard way. You can’t just come into a grown man’s house and start playing house- This ain’t your dollhouse! It was a nightmare. I couldn’t find anything. When I saw her toothbrush in the toilet, I knew she had to go. There can’t be two captains on this ship miss!
4. I do not have commitment phobia! That’s some unattractive little box obnoxious females like to put me and my kind in. Absolute rubbish! When I find her I’ll commit. But till then, there ain’t nobody gonna force me to do what I don’t wanna do! Shikena
5. Being alone makes me a master at everything I do. I’m an astute business man, a wine connoisseur, I’ve got a great body because I never miss my time at the gym, got excellent taste in clothes and because of my vast experience in woman anatomy and psychology, I am a great lover and well a master at woman-ergonomics! One thing I noticed about a lot of my friends is that once they meet the one, it gives them licence to sign up for mediocrity. Take George for example, I used to look up to George. He was fine, suave and successful and considered a great catch by the ladies. Now he is married, has a potbelly, never goes to the gym and is content with his regular 9-5 job. M-E-D-I-O-C-R-E! He tells me when I get married I’ll understand. Does getting married infect you with some virus? Eek!
6. Mummy stop praying. You make me feel guilty. And NO I won’t marry aunty Nkechi’s daughter and YES I will give you grandkids before you die! Sheesh
7. Yeah, yeah all my friends are married and from being in a wolf pack I’ve been reduced to the lone wolf and yes I’ve had to hangout with the younger dudes at work because my friends have to be home by 10 but hey who’s complaining? Certainly not me.
8. And yes it’s true I do have an impossibly long list of all the things I want in a woman but trust me if you’d been around as long as I have, you would realise that with great smarts comes great responsibility. I’m responsible for my own happiness, I’m smart enough to acknowledge this and to realise that the woman I pick has got to be able to keep me happy. Yeah yeah this is my curse. It’s really not about looks. At this age I’ve dated them all. Even Chinese and Jamaicans 😉 The thing is this woman has to get me totally. I don’t want someone who’s gonna try to change me or disrespect me and she has to be in sync with my chi. She’s gonna be my 10/10. (Told you 10 was my lucky number)
9. There’s nothing wrong with me! Friends, family and colleagues take note. I am not damaged goods, nobody broke my heart when I was young. Ok Chineye did but that was ages ago and I’m long over it. I do not have psychological issues or sexual issues and I do not come from a broken home. I choose to be single. Thank you
10. The doctor says I don’t have a biological clock and that as long as I keep fit, my sperms will be up and running till I’m 80! My uncle John got married at 55 so nobody rush me cos if the pressure becomes unbearable I’ll do the unthinkable- marry a random babe and heaven help you if she drives me insane cos I have a .47 and you’ll be the first I’ll gun down.
I am an unrepentant, unapologetic bachelor and life totally rocks. I wish women could take a cue from me cos they spend way too much time obsessing over a man or lack of one. Anyway I’m out, gotta go watch some football and guess what there’s no one here to fight me over the TV remote! #bliss

For B.Y, Y.O and Y.A take your time boys…;-)
Have a great week chutzpah family, xoxoxo 😉 😉

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 14, 2013 in Hall of Fame, Manology, Relationships

 

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TRUST

“Jump”
“No I can’t, it’s too high”
“Trust me Anita, I’ll catch you”
I look around furtively, desperate to find a plan B. No right thinking person would just take that offer. There’s gotta be another way. If I jumped and He didn’t catch me, everyone would think me pathetic for being so trusting after all, heaven helps those who help themselves.
“I’m waiting Anita”
I spot a fire escape on the corner of the roof.
“I’ll be right back J”
He sighs…
How many times have we been through this? How many times has she confessed to trusting me and then when there’s a real crisis she’s off in a flash hunting for a plan B, afraid to actually let someone else drive. How long will she continue to let them get the best of her? He glances at Father and Son leaning on a black SUV with mocking eyes. He has to protect her…
“Anita you can trust me, just jump!”
I’m gone in a jiffy. Running towards the fire escape. If I can climb down I reason very logically, I’ll save Him the trouble of catching me. I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself.
Halfway down the fire-escape, it begins to shake, like it’s coming loose from its hinges. I grip it tighter. I’m almost down. Can’t see past the smoke. I look around for J. Maybe He can catch me now since I’m closer to the ground but He’s nowhere to be found. And then I see it, a big, black snake slithering up the fire escape. The smoke made it hard to see or I’d never have started the journey down. I begin to scurry back up. Muttering a prayer for help as I cling to the shaky rungs. I make it back up just in time. I don’t see the snake anymore but there isn’t much time left. I’ve wasted so much precious time trying to do things my way. Is J even still there? I wouldn’t blame Him if He’s left. I seem to do this every time. Trusting in my own strength, my own ideas, my own decisions. Well look where that has gotten me. The smoke is worse and I begin to sputter and cough. I can barely see. The heat of the flames making me sweat. Let’s not even get started with how I ended up on the roof of a burning building. I need help. Now I see only He can help me. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time. I call out, peering down but unable to see anything.
“J”
“J”
No answer.
“J”
“J”
And then I hear it. The evil laugh.
“No one can save you now pretty”
“Yes dad, she’s all ours”
I peer into the dark, who are you? What do you want? Why are you doing this?
“I’m W, full name’s Worry and you and I have been best buddies for a looooong time”
Then comes the evil laugh again.
“And I’m his boss cum dad. Your kind call me the devil but I ain’t the devil, just some dude coming back to get what’s rightfully mine. Right son?”
“Yea pops”
“What do you want with me?”
“Well Anita, it’s pretty simple. This world is a battle field. You are either His or mine and if you decide to sit on the fence, you are still mine…”
And then the evil laugh fills my ears and the smoke threatens to choke me.
“J where are you?”
The laughter again
“Jesus please don’t forsake me”
“I will never leave you nor forsake me. Close your eyes and jump Anita, I’ve got you”
“If you jump, you’ll die”
I shake my head. Focus Anita.
I stumble forward. Is there a particular way or method to jumping?
I shake my head again.
The fire’s so close.
I close my eyes, say a prayer and JUMP!
I feel it immediately…it feels good. It tastes like freedom. I’m letting go. Someone else is doing the driving.
I feel His warm arms enveloping me in His unending love. I feel my problems disintegrating. Why did it take me this long to trust?
I come to a gentle landing and I open my eyes.
There’s a black SUV speeding off in the distance. There’s no sign of the fire or the snake not to mention the despicable duo. I’m calm, I’ve found peace and as I gaze into the eyes of the one person who loves me more than I could even love myself, His arms around me, I smile bashfully.
“Thank you Jesus”
“You are very welcome Anita. I see you are still battling with the trust thing.”
“I’m learning every day”
“It’s ok dear, I’ll always be here for you. Always”
“Thank you”

And all is well in my world again…

TRUST

Have a great week chutzpah fam…
Xoxoxo 😉

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2013 in #TeamJesus, Hall of Fame

 

25. Wedding Chronicles…EPILOGUE!

It was a beautiful day, the sky was bright, the air was cool and four girls sat in a hotel suite chatting excitedly, barely able to sit still as their hair and makeup were done to perfection. Today was a day none of them would ever forget. Today three of them were getting married and they’d all decided to have just one bridesmaid cater to all three of them. Tayo didn’t mind being a bridesmaid, she just couldn’t believe they were all getting their fairy tale endings.

“Earth to Tayo! Thinking about Ahmedy-bobo again abi?”

“Don’t call him that!”

They all burst out laughing. When Sheila had jokingly called Ahmed that the first time they were introduced, it had stuck and now that was his standard nickname, one Tayo absolutely detested. She preferred to call him Philip but she knew that the more she protested the more her friends would keep teasing her. Philip didn’t seem to mind so it was all good. She loved his sense of humor.

“She has that dreamy look in her eyes again. EARTH TO TAYO!”

They burst out laughing again. Prompting the hair stylists to caution them to hold still.

“I wasn’t thinking about Philip, ok not directly anyway. I just can’t believe we got everything we ever dreamed of…God is so merciful.”

“Yes He is”

They all chorused.

Amaka: “But mehn see all the drama we got caught up in all untop ring matter. If I could advise single babes I’d tell them to just chill, that things always work out in the end.”

Aisha: “Yes oh! Imagine if you had married Ehis before he sorted out his past? Maybe they would have killed you in the process!”

Amaka: “God forbid! But you have a point. Waiting for your man to propose can be such a long thing. The men always have excuses and I won’t even begin to tell you girls what naughty schemes I delved into just because I wanted him to put a ring on it!”

Aisha: “We all had our dramas. Imagine if Tanto was actually carrying Tosin’s child? Where would I have started from? After bearing so much sh*t from that man for so long! But the new Tosin is such a dream. Sometimes drama is good!”

Aisha blushed and the girls giggled loudly.

Sheila: “Not all drama is good oh. It took me almost getting raped and being scared out of my wits that I had HIV for Chinedu to decide he was never gonna let me out of his life ever again. But I can tell you girls that sincerely I could have done without that drama!”

Tayo: “Something good did come out of that drama dear, you retired! We all knew the Sheila of before!!!”

Sheila: “Hey!!! Old things have passed away and behold all things have become new joor! Don’t wanna be a player no more…”

Aisha: “What even happened to Richie? Did you guys press charges? Did he finally see a psychologist? How’s he coping?”

Sheila: “After I got over the trauma, I started feeling really sorry for him. He is on his HIV meds and sees a psychologist every Thursday. We didn’t press charges. On the contrary you won’t believe that he is one of Chinedu’s groomsmen!”

“What?”
The other girls chorused.

Sheila: “Yep. People with HIV shouldn’t be stigmatized girls. If you make them outcasts they get bitter because somebody else is always responsible for giving them the infection and they want to lash out at anyone for the rejection. I was almost a victim because of this and y’all know if I got HIV I’d personally infect all my girls because I’d wanna share the love!”

They all burst out laughing.

Amaka: “You are not serious. Remind me not to touch anything Richie touches at the wedding in case his personal vendetta isn’t over yet!”

Sheila: “Amaka!!! HIV is not spread by touching or kissing or sneezing or sharing toilets joor. It’s spread by sexual contact and blood! With all these gadgets around you, I wonder why basic info still passes you by!”

Amaka: “Don’t blame me girl, my blackberry is for pinging Ehis and my Ipad is for planning our fabulous wedding!”

The girls giggled again.

Sheila: “Besides Richie met someone at his clinic. They are dating and she’s very beautiful.”

Amaka: “You’ve gotta be kidding me!”

Aisha: “Does she have HIV too?”

Sheila: “No she doesn’t! She accompanied her elder sister who has been living with HIV for seven years now to the clinic and she and Richie got talking and that was it!”

Tayo: “Doesn’t she mind that Richie has HIV?”

Amaka: “Isn’t she scared that she’ll get infected? Hian!”

Sheila: “The doctor told them there were ways that they could go about it that she and even their children- if they chose to get married would be HIV negative and as long as Richie kept taking his drugs, there’s nothing stopping him from living a long and fruitful life. He really digs this babe oh and she loves him die!”

The four girls were silent for a while. Each thinking about life and how God always had a way of making things alright in the end. There was a knock on the door.

Ahmed: “Ladies you all look exquisite! It’s time!”

It was the most beautiful wedding any of them had ever seen. The three brides were radiant and the air was full of promise and laced with genuine love. It was a beautiful gathering of friends and family and each couple had written their vows to each other. They had all passed through hard times but true love had prevailed. The men were more mature, the women wiser. Their ideas of marriage had evolved and as they listened to the pastor preach a moving sermon. Each person was lost in thought…

Tosin…I will never cheat on you Aisha. As long as I live, I promise you.

Aisha…God keep my home and keep Tosin and I faithful to each other

Chinedu…Thank you Lord for giving me this precious gift. Heal the wounds of her past and give me the capacity to love her always regardless of her flaws.

Sheila…Thank you, thank you, thank you. Lord I’m so grateful.

Ehis…God I’m gonna make you proud. I’m gonna be the best husband Amaka could ever have and I’ll never keep a secret from her ever again.

Amaka…I’m finally getting married! (((SCREAM)))

The reception was fun. The first dance brought tears to the eyes of all who watched. Never had there been such a romantic wedding. The months put into planning this wedding really paid off.

“You look exceptionally beautiful today babe!”

“Thanks Philip, you look very handsome too.”

“You didn’t catch the bouquet.”

“Naaaah. Too old for the whole bouquet war. Wouldn’t you have laughed if you saw me fighting for a bunch of flowers on the dance floor?”

“That would have been funny but you don’t need to actually.”

“Why? Because I have you?”

Tayo teased.

“Yes you have me. Now and always…”

And with that Philip went on one knee and whisked out a box from his pocket.

“Marry me Tayo. Make me the luckiest man on earth.”

“Philip, baby we’ve only been together for a couple of months. Are you sure?”

“Surer than I’ve ever been of anything or anyone in my life. Please marry me baby.”

“Yes, yes, yes I’ll marry you!”

And right there, in a little corner in the huge tent amidst the wedding noises and with only a few people observing them, Tayo agreed to be married to her lover and her best friend.

“Sometimes when it’s right, it’s right.”

THE END!

Hey Chutzpah fam. The curtain finally falls for the Wedding Chronicles. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’m a sucker for happy endings! 😉 😉

Please if you haven’t already subscribed, pls do so. It’s fast and easy to do and you get all my blog posts right in your mail as soon as I hit the ‘publish’ button. All you have to do is enter your email address in the space provided either at the bottom of the screen if you are viewing this on a mobile device or on the right side of the screen if you are using a desktop, ipad or tablet!

Love you muchos!
Xoxoxoxo 😉

 
14 Comments

Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Hall of Fame, Wedding Chronicles

 

2. Wedding Chronicles: TAYO…

Tayo looked out of her window at the traffic building up on Adeola Odeku. She had to wait till 6pm even though work had ended an hour ago because she needed a lift to CMS before getting on a BRT bus home. Her other alternative was to take a cab but her cab guy wasn’t picking his phone and she didn’t trust those random cab men this time of the year. She thought of taking a bike but she perished the thought when she glanced at the tight pencil skirt she was wearing, totally out of the question.

Three hours later, she was seated in the overcrowded BRT, sweat dripping down her forehead as the bus moved at snail speed towards the mainland. She looked like your typical VI secretary- well dressed but still a hustler. But things were never what they seemed right? Her mind travelled to the conversation she’d had with her mother- the one that got her in this mess…

“Tayo I know you are a big shot MD but no man is going to marry you if you have a car and live in your own apartment. It’s too much for the average Nigerian man, they get intimidated. Don’t you want this to be your last year as a spinster? I want grandchildren oh!”.

She had stormed out of her parent’s house annoyed that her mother wanted her to demean herself just to get a man. She had worked very hard to be where she was, it made no sense. If only Nnamdi hadn’t been such a punk…
Anyway her mum had gotten the last word. She had sold her beloved toyota rav4 and moved out of her posh apartment in ikoyi and back into her parents house. She sighed deeply.

Her life sucked but it wasn’t all bad. Jide had come into her life one fine day when she had gone to grind beans.
Another thing her mother insisted she do to show the men in the estate that she was homely and down to earth.*rolling her eyes*
She hated this life, she’d outgrown the whole living with your parents phase when she turned 27 but here she was at the peak of her career but at the pit of her love life. She thought of Jide- Average income, average ambitions, average looks Jide! He lived in a 2 bedroom flat not far from her parent’s house and obviously her parents who were firm believers in small beginnings approved of him. There were no sparks but her mum said at her age sparks were unnecessary. She was supposed to be logical about her choice and pick a man who would morph into a good husband and good father and of course a good in-law. Her greatest fear was the mediocrity that would befall her if she married him. Her money would always be a disadvantage, hidden and used sparingly to preserve his ego and her dreams of holidays in the Bahamas and skiing on the alps and living on Banana island not to mention the prominent role she hoped to one day play in the society would all be put in a box labelled ‘frivolous dreams’ and she’d be stuck in a life she had to live just because she didn’t wanna be an old maid.

Her phone started vibrating. She was very paranoid about public transport but curiosity got the better of her. She peered into her bag and saw it was a message. She thought of ignoring it but what else was there to do in this traffic? So in quick, successive movements, she stealthily stuck a hand into her bag looking left and right to make sure she wasn’t watched and all the while holding her bag tightly under her arm in a vice like grip and then lowered her head as the message appeared.

“Hi Tayo, would you like to hang out with me tonight?”

Tonight? Ugh! All she wanted to do tonight was take a bath and go straight to bed. Lagos traffic did things to a woman but she remembered she had said no to him twice this week already and she didn’t wanna chase away the only man in her life just yet. She’d respond later she grimaced.

She knew it wouldn’t be a grand date. He didn’t have much and he believed in saving all he had for a rainy day. Not to mention allowing her pick up the tab too often if you asked her! She wanted someone who would buy her nice things, take her to fancy places and plan great holidays with her. She wanted a man who would provide a good life for her not an average one… Was that too much to ask?

Jide was picking her up at 9. They’d been seeing each other since she moved back to her parent’s house in January. It wasn’t a relationship at least not the kind she was used to but he was dependable and what they had was comfortable, hassle free and… Ugh! She hated having to say this- B-O-R-I-N-G! On val’s day he had bought her a ready-made, fast-food cake that tasted like paper and a poorly produced card and her wicked friends had thoroughly laughed at her but her colleague Bisi who was almost tempted to polish up her driver and date him had pointed out to her that she was part of the lucky few who even had a man! She had earlier in the day contemplated buying herself some really great presents but didn’t want Jide to accidentally see them and think she was seeing someone else. He knew where she worked but had never asked her the questions needed to reveal her true financial position and influence so she operated on a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell basis‘. It wasn’t lying per se. She consoled herself that she didn’t want him to turn into a gold-digger or feel intimidated. Anyway she planned to tell him tonight over dinner.

As she was putting the finishing touches to her makeup her mum came in.

“Sweetie be back by 11pm please, good girls don’t stay out late and must you always wear jeans? What happened to nice dresses and your eye makeup is plenty…”

She wanted to scream! Her mum failed to see that she was all grown up. It was like she was being punished for not being in her husband’s house. She made up her mind that in 2013 she would get a flat on the island and buy a new car and forget this down to earth wife material facade. Any man who didn’t appreciate that should go hug a transformer in the rain.

30 minutes later…

“Tayo I’ve never met a woman like you. You inspire me, you make me a better man. I have something I wanna tell you…”

“Jide I have something to tell you too but I need to use the bathroom…”

Tayo jumped up, quite alarmed at her sudden urge to pee. She realised she’d been holding it since 6pm and dashed as fast as her heels could allow, to the ladies. She didn’t see the guy standing by the corner. The bump was epic and she tumbled to the floor, with an embarrassing thud.

“I’m so sorry miss…”

“Watch where you are going joor, ah!”

“I was stationary, you were the one moving!”

As he helped her up, their eyes met for the first time and she caught her breath. She felt her pulse quicken. What was a man like this doing in this sort of place. He was awesome.

“Take a picture it will last longer”

He commented dryly.
She glared at him!

“I was just wondering how you could just bump into me like that. I could have broken my heels or worse my leg!”

She rolled her eyes for emphasis.

“Drama queen!”

He said teasingly.

“Hi I’m Philip, my friends call me Pope”

“Hello, I’m Tayo, why do they call you that?”

“I’ll tell you over dinner on sunday night”

She laughed. She was still laughing when she gave him her number. The smell of his Tom Ford perfume confirmed her initial suspicions. He was definitely lost. Guys like that belonged in posh restaurants or in her frivolous dreams box! Definitely not in the low-cost restaurant Jide had brought her to.
She returned to the table with a big faraway grin on her face and barely heard Jide’s opening sentence but his next words brought her back to reality with a bang!

“Will you marry me Tayo?!”

She glanced at the cheap-looking engagement ring in his outstretched hand and slowly up into his expectant eyes as time seemed to stop…

“Shit!”

To be continued…

Hey chutzpah fam, thanks for your emails. You could actually drop comments instead! 😉 anyway due to popular demand, I’m gonna start a series on the guys’ side of the story.

Have a great week…xoxo

 
11 Comments

Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Hall of Fame, Wedding Chronicles

 

When doctors weep…

The past couple of weeks have been a turbulent one for the medical profession in Nigeria as 788 doctors were issued queries and then sacked as a result of a strike action that resulted from futile dialogue with the Lagos state government over its failure to keep its side of an agreement signed by both parties more than a year ago.

We’ve heard the patients and concerned citizens air their views. Doctors have been largely misrepresented by the media according to Dr. Y who believes one of the medical association’s biggest problems is those we select to represent us (hence the losing PR battle). Doctors need to be heard and here’s what some doctors had to say:

Dr. D, an NMA spokesperson said; “Bola Ahmed Tinubu was part of the government team that signed an agreement with Lagos doctors last year, Fashola should honor the agreement. FYI, Lagos judicial workers earn more than Federal judicial workers. Fashola must be a Governor of all not a group”

Dr. IN, a Lagos state doctor has this to say: “The consolidated medical salary scale (CONMESS) was the salary structure designed by the Federal Government four years ago with the aim of providing a uniform salary scale for doctors irrespective of the state, kind of hospital and area of specialization with an annual increment denoting years of experience. Most states in the country immediately began paying CONMESS in full. Two years after this, the medical guild wrote several letters to the Lagos Government to remind them of CONMESS as they were yet to be paid. The governor then SIGNED an agreement that he would commence payment in 2011 with arrears being owed. The Federal Government made it clear that if CONMESS was paid, doctors would ignore the poor work conditions, work extended hours like they have been accustomed to (but this time they would be happy doing it) and they wouldn’t have to leave the country to work abroad. More people would be encouraged to train as doctors and the health of the people would be secured! Instead, tax was increased, CONMESS was not paid, work conditions were not improved, doctors’ lives were lost to stress related illnesses and medical hazards and call rooms were not provided for doctors on call. When Governor Fashola was reminded in January, he simply said the President couldn’t dictate how much he would pay doctors in his state and the tax increase was necessary so the doctors should get used to it! He said he couldn’t afford to pay CONMESS (but he could plan the most expensive birthday party in the World for Alhaji Tinubu). We then embarked on a legal 3-day warning strike with prior notice to sensitize the people and remind the government of the signed agreement. On resumption, all doctors were given individual query letters (for a joint action!), another one was issued, and then letters were issued for “call to panel / impending dismissal from duty”.  A week later, armored tanks were brought to all Lagos General Hospitals and Teaching Hospital Lasuth, Ikeja with doctors walked out of their clinics while seeing patients. The Med guild immediately called for an indefinite strike and the Lagos state government was sued for breach of agreement and victimization of doctors. Fake pay slips were published in the papers some weeks ago claiming doctors were being paid as much as 900,000 whereas a medical professor of 20 years has never been paid as much as 500,000. A Neurosurgeon (brain surgeon) consultant still collects 171,000 as basic salary (excluding allowances). Be informed we have only about 20 in Nigeria (Two of them with Lagos state, they trained in America and they have both been sacked!) and these are doctors who work round the clock due to the number of head injuries daily as a result of road traffic accidents. 3 days ago, we were issued sack letters and 97 doctors (not 373 like you heard) were employed as Locum doctors (doctors paid per hour). These locum doctors need residents and consultants to put them through. It takes years of experience to perform a caesarian section on a woman or a brain surgery (especially bore hole to relieve increased brain pressure or blood in the brain) or an appendectomy or treat a sick child or even to help a mentally ill patient. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has made it clear that the newly appointed doctors should not & would not accept the job offer and that all doctors across the nation would join in the strike against victimization on Friday after the ongoing professional exams. The issue is now beyond CONMESS struggle – the government is aiming to devour the medical and dental profession. Be informed that doctors are not slaves, our Hippocratic oath explains that we owe an obligation to our patients and they owe an obligation to us and our services must be paid for.”

This is the Hippocratic oath that binds doctors all over the world:

‘I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art; and that by my teaching, I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons, and to my teacher’s sons, and to disciples bound by an indenture and oath according to the medical laws, and no others. I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.’

The original text of the Hippocratic Oath is usually interpreted as one of the first statements of a moral of conduct to be used by doctors. Being a doctor from ages past has always been an honorable profession. The doctors were not usually the wealthiest citizens but they and their families did not suffer untold hardship and they were revered. Many doctors in Nigeria die unsung, unable to provide for their families in their death, from diseases mostly due to medical hazards. Those alive and working can barely make ends meet and cannot substitute financial aid for the time and attention their families are deprived of. So what is a doctor’s reward in Nigeria? Or should we also join the queue for 70 virgins in heaven?

Dr. OF, a doctor working outside Lagos says: “Where I work, I have not gone on leave for 5 years because of the patients. No time to see my parents or siblings, attend burial of friends and relatives and weddings of close friends. I have lost many friends who think that I’m only pretending to be busy meanwhile I see patients every other day that can only be equated to church sessions. Many people cannot sit near a HIV positive patient, but these are the people, whose blood I put hands in everyday during surgery, and their blood splashes into my eyes, mouth and face yet I endure because I won’t abandon them to die. I risk my own life and my family’s life every day to care for others. What I get as hazard allowance monthly is only N5000!!!  If I ask my employer to keep an agreement to help me feed my family, is that too much to ask?”

Dr. B, a Nigerian medical doctor practicing in the US says; “Nigerians need to change their mindset, doctors have lost it all in Naija, from money to respect. The respect and pay of registered nurses (RN) in the US is unthinkable let alone doctors. In many instances you will have to downplay being a doctor because of the attention you get”

Dr. OO had this to say: “We live in a tribal society: ethnic tribes, religious tribes and in this case professional tribe, so I understand why non-doctors would find the fact that doctors should ever have a reason to go on strike repulsive and why doctors would find the lack of understanding from the general populace unbelievable. Like all polarized debates, people are leaning towards their gut instinct, which is hardly objective, but emotionally driven. The doctors’ association needs to get off the emotional debate because trust me statements such as “oh, I work too hard and earn so little” is never going to come out tops against sentiments like “my dad died yesterday because doctors were on strike.”  Looking at it in this manner, it becomes easier to understand why we are losing what Dr. F calls the “PR war” and why we are likely to lose future ones. As a doctor, I know first-hand what it is like to treat patients without light, giving injection drugs in the dark, putting myself at the risk of needle stick injuries far from the watching eyes of the public. I do it because, like the public, I care about your dad not dying even though I know you would never ask if a needle pricked me last night. I remember a particular incidence. We had an emergency, an unconscious pregnant woman with a blood pressure 280/220mmhg (severe hypertension) who was almost at term. She was unbooked and my call was almost over but I was available. Her husband had just 200 Naira on him. We had to operate on her within the next hour with no blood, no money and no drugs. But guess what? We did! That was the first time I had a needle stick injury because NEPA/PHCN was at their norm. Minutes later the air was filled with the cry of a pretty baby girl in the arms of a doting grandmother and father. In the background were the moans of a slowly rousing mother and then there was me with a pensive look on my face while awaiting the results of my HIV test. I was okay. Even though, I had worked overtime and had to be up to make work in the morning which was now 2 hours away, there was no complain, no feeling of accomplishment because in my “tribe” I was not unique. It is the story of 788 and thousands of other people I share a proud profession with. I got a gracious thank you from the family, a thankful smile from the now recuperating mother and a smiling appreciation from my parents when I narrated it to them. So to the “court of public opinion” we don’t just measure remunerations in cash only, we do in kind as well. I am sure I am a thousand “thank you” richer and a million “smiles” wealthier because of the job I do. Now all we are asking is that the LASG should match our generosity with trustworthiness and our patience with understanding.”

Today the punch newspaper announced that doctors in Federal Government Hospitals in Lagos State have begun an indefinite strike.

Dr. K summarizes the doctor’s plight in these words: “Back in the days the next to a nation’s president was the surgeon General…what do we have now? Back in the days doctors used to get accommodation for free or for cheaper prices now doctors are being evicted from the shams they call quarters. Back then you would never want to travel to America after medical school because you were entitled to a car and good pay but now doctors go to even Ghana where circumstances are better for doctors. Back then we had functioning hospitals but now we cancel surgeries week-in week-out because there are no sterile materials, no dependable power supply…”

Dr. T warns: “A government not sensitive to the health of its citizenry is like a walking corpse. Worse of all is the senseless approach to employ rookie doctors to fill in for consultants. I sympathize with the poor people of Lagos state, I pray for the doctors who have always left their families to take care of us despite the harsh conditions, I would advise Governor Fashola to have a rethink and reinstate the sacked doctors.”

There’s no citizen who hasn’t benefitted from health aid provided by a doctor. Doctors have served you tirelessly, thanklessly and in all manner of conditions both safe and extremely dangerous but these doctors are human too and if it has gotten to a stage where a strike is the only way the Government will pay attention to their cry then be angry with an uncaring government, be mad at a government that would frustrate one of the most important sectors of the economy while they fly their families overseas. Be mad at a government that will put the lives of its people in jeopardy. Be mad at a government that callously breaches legal agreements made with its workforce but please do not be mad at the doctors, they are the victims here. When a doctor weeps, his patients weep too…Fashola harden not your heart!

Have a great day people. xoxoxo

 
40 Comments

Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Hall of Fame, Health, Uncategorized

 

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Remove the wool from your eyes!

No one’s gonna do it for you. Most would prefer it stayed there. Unless you come to the realisation that you can’t see past your nose, wool is gonna be the new Armani shades and you’re gonna keep rocking ’em like a fashion conscious bat!

So you think she’s your friend, you do the calling, the pinging, the watching of her back and worrying about stuff that’s important to her and when you need her, you realize she’s done a rent-a-ghost number on your arse. Optimistic is your middle name, celebrating your friendship with cuddly pics and furry messages, wake up and smell the dog poo, you are as alone as Robinson Crusoe was! Why are you holding on so tight? Yes you were friends as kids, but why have you decided to be the old grandma who refuses to change with the times? Forced loyalty to an old friend who doesn’t have your back while you put the ones who do in second place every time. Think about it, the people who are ready to bail you out when you are in need and cover for you, those who remember to check up on you every once in a while, they are your friends. BFFs are only forever if the friendship is forever, screw the title!

So you and your man have been dating for 8 years ehen? Are you happy? No! Is he gonna put a ring on it anytime this century? You think not. Does he try to make you happy? No! Is he faithful? No! Then why on earth are you still there? Did he tie you to a chair and gag you with a dirty sock? Did he make a pact with your soul for some change he’d use to take another girl out? For crying out loud, life is short. You ain’t even married yet and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen soon. So why don’t you screw marriage, screw what others think and screw everything else screwable and follow your dreams even if all you have in the dream safe is a longing for solitude and peace of mind. Trust me, you could work your way up from there. A day at a time and you’ll be doing not just you, but the man you claim would be lost without you, a whole lot of good.

So your job sucks? You are under-paid and over-worked. You borrow like an alcoholic and can’t wait for the next pay check. You’ve never even heard of the word ‘savings’ cos you don’t even have enough and to top it all, your boss treats you like s**t. Did you go to school to end up like this? You spend more hours at your job than anywhere else. Is this what you call making a living? This profitless hard work? I know bus drivers who make more money than you. So they don’t wear a suit everyday, big deal! Then one day a new bill is added to your never-ending list of bills and then you can’t take it anymore so you decide to buy some strong rope and kill yourself! WRONG!

You think that’s bad, life throws all sorts of curve balls at us and they hit really hard and many times below the belt but do we give up? Do we suck on the lemons a little at a time hoping we’ll eventually get accustomed to the acrid taste? No! That’s not living, that’s existing. The worst thing you can do is to compare yourself to someone worse than you. That only works when you are on your knees struggling hard to be thankful as you say a prayer to the Almighty. When you get off your knees, if you don’t know the difference between the hope that comes with being thankful that you’re not as bad as somebody else AND the mediocrity that creeps up on you when you are HAPPY you are not as bad as somebody else then you’ll be sooooo screwed!

You’re clearly not succeeding at what you’re doing. Has it occurred to you that you aren’t doing it wrong, you are just in the wrong place? Failure is relative. A lot of great men and women were failures till they shook off the mantle of propriety. Who gives a flying f**k about status quo? Who gives a rat’s arse about what the world thinks? If you do, you are gonna die a slow, very painful death caused by broken dreams and an unfulfilled life. All the people emulated today dared to be different. What’s the best that can happen to you if you do get it right? Just another marriage, just another paid employee, just another part of the national demographic, just another person struggling to survive. What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t get it right? Shame? Rejection? Disgrace? Suicide? Poverty? WRONG! Those entities don’t wait for you to ‘not get it right’ before they pounce on you. “Time and chance happens to them all”.

I’ll tell you something. If you hit rock bottom then presumably there’s no where else to go except up, or under- if you choose to end your life! Maybe your destiny is a whole lot greater than the average Joe’s. Maybe instead of just being a married woman, you are gonna be the woman who helps other married women get out of the mud while earning a lot of money on the side. Why do we love TV so much? Because people seemingly make tons of money from not doing anything extraordinary. So find that ordinary thing you are good at. David was great at throwing stones with a sling and he became King. Somebody was great at updating his facebook status and now he does it for the president. Sometimes when the opportunity arises, we are just too ill-prepared to seize it and some of us don’t get more than one chance. You don’t have to be the best there is, you just have to be different from what there is. Carve your niche and you’ll be surprised what lengths you’d go. And if where you are makes you so mad, if you hate the situation you find yourself in, don’t despair, don’t kiss arse, just flee. You’ll hurt more people if you stay. You can’t give what you don’t have. Having a happy and fulfilled life is the only way you can impact positively those around you!

Have a lovely day peeps. xoxoxo

 
12 Comments

Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Hall of Fame, Inspirational

 

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