Tag Archives: Family

10 Rules every squatter should live by

Has a friend or family graciously offered you accommodation rent-free? Here are 10 rules to live by so that you co-habit peacefully and amicably without hidden grudges or questions aimed at your home training or lack thereof. 

When in Rome act like the Romans except you are squatting. A squatter cannot take the same liberties as a guest. Guests stay for a couple of days at most so the family doesn’t really mind any inconveniences but a squatter has to earn his rent in good deeds or emotional and physical currency and here’s how.

1. Do household chores 

No one is asking you to be the help but you can’t stay in someone’s house and be lazy. Even if they have help still find something to do even if it’s just cleaning your room. The help does not work for you!

2. Don’t use household items indiscriminately 

Don’t borrow something without asking or finish an item in the house without asking first or informing someone after it gets finished and if you can, replace any items used. 

3. Remember the kitchen has jurisdictions 

Don’t eat any and everything you see without asking questions.  Don’t take the biggest meat in the pot or the last of the groceries without asking someone. Don’t leave your plate unwashed in the sink. Offer to do the cooking every once in a while. 

4. Contribute to the household’s upkeep 

Nothing is too small. You can buy groceries every month or pay the DSTV, PHCN or WIFI bill. You can offer to buy some diesel for the generator or just buy a thoughtful gift for them every once in a while; monthly if you are a salary earner. You can even give money from time to time or have your parents do one of the above if you are not working. 

5. Inform them on time if you are going to be home late or you are not coming home at all

It is simple courtesy really because these people are responsible for you and may actually stay up late worrying about your whereabouts, besides you wouldn’t want to be locked out of the house based on assumptions. 

6. Join them in the family activities that actually matter 

Don’t lock yourself in the room when the family is praying or exempt yourself from family activities because you think you are a stranger. People don’t invite strangers to live with them so they already see you as part of the clan. Don’t alienate yourself because that would just be awkward for everyone. 

7. When on their turf, abide by their rules

You are not exempted from curfews, decent dress codes or other household rules that apply to the people in the house. They may not complain when you do wrong but it leaves a negative lasting impression.

8. Don’t bring someone home without prior warning

They agreed to let you into their private space not your entire squad. Remember they need their privacy and personal space. Don’t make their home uncomfortable for them and certainly don’t have sex under their roof!

9. Don’t gossip about the goings on in the house 

No reports or gossip about the intel you are privy to. You are not a spy. They don’t speak in code around you because they trust you. Do not betray that trust. 

10. Don’t let overfamiliarity make you cross boundaries 

Don’t borrow clothes, shoes or other personal effects without due consent. Don’t interfere in relationships or get a smart mouth because you’ve been there a long time and when there are disagreements because those are bound to happen, do not let moving out be your first response; instead settle differences amicably and respectfully without feeling like you are being treated differently because you are an outsider.

Remember that these people not only put a roof over your head but also offer you creature comforts like food, security, ttransport, wifi, medication, toiletries and some form of emotional support. Things you’d no doubt have to give out chunks of your salary or allowance to pay for if you were living alone. Treat them with honour and respect and the same way you would treat your flesh and blood and while you are at it, let your stellar home training make your mama proud. 

Have a great night Chutzpah fam,


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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Urban Culture


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When neighbors cross boundaries

Yesterday evening we had some friends over and as we saw them to the door, we noticed my neighbors were by my door chirping away excitedly. My landlord is not aware of this set of tenants as hubby and I never informed him of their illegal occupancy. They have a little shelter just by the door and hubby and I decided to live and let live and contribute our little good to the world by letting them stay. Anyway last night one of them must have been feeling pretty excitable because the next thing he was in my house right after I had just confidently assured my friend that our neighbors never ever overstepped their boundaries! Hubby was on the other side of the door and slammed it shut so that neighbor number two wouldn’t tag along, leaving our friends and I outside shouting unsolicited advice about the best way to get rid of the uninvited guest. 

‘Put off the lights’

‘Chase him towards the door’

‘Don’t let him get past the sitting room’

His partner turned her head mournfully from side to side, awaiting the lynching of her rogue love. And finally le boo was able to get the intruder out of our house and I think the adrenaline in my veins went down a notch.

Yes I have two cute birds living in a nest of twigs just at the entrance into my house and yes it took me a while to get over the fear of creatures flying at random in my personal space. They had never misbehaved till last night and now I’m not sure if I can trust them anymore. Real life neighbors are a bit like that. Unpredictable! I have had all sorts of neighbors in my 30- something years on the planet and have decided that boundaries must be set from the get go so that cordiality is not mistaken for foolery. It’s odd because I grew up watching the British series ‘Neighbors’ and singing ‘…that’s why good neighbors become your friends…’ and I have had a few friendly neighbors however erring on the side of caution is still best.

People generally are as unpredictable as those birdies. They allow curiosity get the better of them often to their detriment. Why that bird who had watched us open and close our front door every day for over a year decided that he’d try to get inside that evening beats me but I can understand where he was coming from. So many of us are on the outside looking in and waiting for just the right moment to take the leap that would potentially change our lives but can we take a moment to think about what boundaries we may inadvertently cross in doing so. Who would be hurt in the process or get burned? Whose trust would we have to betray? Sometimes crossing certain boundaries may leave irreparable damage so tread carefully in your relationships, your businesses and life in general. 

Have a great night!

Lots of love chutzpah fam,


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Posted by on July 23, 2017 in Memoirs


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Raising Godly Children and the Key-Talk by Pastor Caroline…Part 2


Hi Chutzpah fam, here is the second part of the four part series on raising Godly Children by our guest-blogger, Pastor Caroline.

2. Children of some great men of God have ended up being godless. What roles must we play to ensure that our children are godly?

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

Being spiritually strong is a prerequisite to raising godly children but is not enough to make them godly. You have a great role to play in their upbringing.

1– Pray with your child and read Bible stories to him even before he starts talking.  Teach him to pray. Then when he can read, teach him to have a personal quiet time, where he can worship God, confess his sins, read his bible, pray for himself, his family and for others.

2–Learn to prophesy good things to your unborn baby and see the power of God’s word. Teach your child to honour God even before he can talk. Pray regularly with him and read Bible stories to him. The time he starts talking, teach him to pray.

3–Spend quality time with your children. Love and teach them. The first five years of life are the most crucial years. They learn 50% of what they need to know by age three and 75% by age seven. Do not let nannies mould them for you.

4–Protect your child’s environment. Environment includes what comes into your home through television, school and friends.
*Monitor the films they watch, even cartoons. Fearful cartoons expose your children to spirits of fear and many have been possessed by the demons present in some cartoons.
*We are living in a world that condones the culture of death and violence. Watching films filled with violence have been known to breed violence in children.

5—Show affection to your child. Hug him, kiss him and let him feel
loved. You are sowing love and you child will be loving.

6–Be sensitive to his needs. This requires sacrifice on your part.

7–Model what you preach. Never say do what I say and not what I do.

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12).

8–Do not be too strict and do not be too permissive.

9—Be very patient. Do not let your temper lead you to violence.

When you give a child a solid foundation, it becomes easy for you to train him to grow into a godly adult. When you refuse to invest in their spiritual lives very early in life, their foundation becomes spiritually weak.

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

3. The act of telling lies is a common habit in children. How can we deal with this habit?

Children tell lies for virtually the same reasons that adults lie. Children who lie often have parents who lie. Without realising it, many parents teach their children to lie. The child watches you lie to the police when you are caught breaking a traffic law. You send him to tell a lie that you are not in the house, when you want to rest. He hears you tell so called ‘white lies’. He then believes that you can lie to avoid punishment and that some lies are permissible.

–To raise honest children, you must be truthful at all times no matter the cost.

Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him (Colossians 3:9-10).

–You must teach the children Biblical standards for honesty. Remember all liars will go to hell (Revelations 21:27, 22: 15).

  1. How can we build self esteem in our children knowing that timid children do not attain great heights in life?

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Generally, children from enlightened and rich homes appear to have more self esteem than other children. Two main causes of low self esteem: parental influence and school environment. When parents are too harsh and violent with their children, they tend to lose their self esteem and live fearful lives. The same harsh treatment is common in public schools where many comfortable parents will not send their children. When punishment is severe, the child’s spirit is broken and he grows to be timid.

Build self esteem in your child by observing the following:

  1. Do not compare him with other children. This is because abilities, aptitude and intelligence vary and are inherited.

  2. Bear in mind that children mature at different rates.

  3. Be patient with your child and have realistic goals.

  4. Tell your child how proud you are of him when he does well. Do not abuse or punish him when he fails. Encourage him and spend more time with him to teach him. You can provide good lesson teachers where necessary.

…To be continued…

Have a great week Chutzpah fam,

About the author: Dr Caroline Umebese is an Associate Professor at the University of Lagos, a Pastor at the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM HQ) and a mother of four with a passion for young people.

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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in #TeamJesus


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Raising Godly Children and the Key-Talk… by Pastor Caroline. Part 1

Happy Sunday Chutzpah fam, today we will be starting a four-part series by one of our guest bloggers Pastor Caroline Umebese. This is a must-read for parents and soon to be parents. Enjoy!

How do we tell our children that immorality and dishonesty are wrong when our rulers and many significant adults do both?

How can we raise godly children in an ungodly world that ignores civility, decency, Christian values and traditional values? How can we succeed as parents in today’s world of violence, drugs, promiscuity, strong peer-pressure and moral breakdown?

We are in the last days. We are experiencing the world as outlined in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. More than ever before, the parent has a lot to contend with in the process of raising godly children.

Thank God that where sin abounds, grace abounds to see us through. The grace of God abounds for us today to know how we can raise godly children in these terrible times. The following questions and answers will provide a wealth of information on how you can raise godly children in this present time.

1. What advice will you give young parents concerning how to raise their children in a godly way?

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward (Psalm 127:3)

*Children belong to God. He gave them to you to nurture them so that they can fulfill the divine purpose God has designed for each one of them on earth.

*Children are your greatest mission field. As arrows in the hands of a warrior, are sons born in one’s youth (Psalm 127:4). If you sharpen them spiritually, they will be strong against all earthly temptations and will fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. If they are blunt spiritually, they amount to nothing in life but a disgrace to you and to God’s kingdom.

*Your children will learn more from the values you show them by example than those you teach with your words.

*You are your child’s most effective teacher and the best way to teach is by modelling, that is practice what you preach. The Bible also says that we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8). Thus the training begins with you:

♦Keep your relationship right with God and with your spouse.
♦Live in complete obedience to the word of God.
♦Be prayerful and build your spirit-man by regular study and meditation on God’s word.
♦Let the fruit of the Spirit be fully manifested in you.
♦Have strong faith in God
♦Love God and love your neighbor.

Parenting is a process of nurturing, caring and helping the children to have a healthy growth, to develop their maximum potential, to become mature and stable individuals that will contribute positively to the society. Parents are the first people to stimulate their children. The following tasks must be done.

♣Training the will
One of the most important tasks in molding children to be intelligent, loving, men and women of good character and responsible citizens, is to teach them to have will power. The will is the mental power by which one controls one’s thoughts, actions and decisions. Training the will simply means to train the child to always think right, act right and to make the right decisions.

Training starts at birth and continues till adulthood. You must have proper understanding of your child’s developmental stage and what is possible and appropriate. In the growth of the child, there are ages that are most sensitive to the development of certain habits or virtues.

Habit/virtue Sensitive period
Order 1-3 years
Obedience 3-6 years
Generosity 6-9 years
Diligence 8-12 years
Solidarity 12-15 years
Loyalty 14-18 years

Order is taught right from the first month. You must take care to be orderly in the child’s meals, sleep routine and hygiene. Ages 1-3 are the sensitive period for tidiness. Teach him/her that each object has its place. Play with him at being tidy with his toys and clothes. Motivate him and he will easily acquire the habit. When you teach him to keep things in order, it will become progressively easier for him to be orderly.

Teach and model the skills to your children. Show good example in your attitude, behavior and actions because children learn more from these than your words.

♣ Character Traits
Know your child’s personality, behavioral style, strengths and weaknesses. Desirable character traits, such as honesty, truthfulness, faithfulness, trust worthiness, obedience, being teachable, temperance, patience, tolerance, loyalty, moral purity, discipline, courage, endurance, self control, diligence, being considerate and generosity can be taught from infancy.

♣ Self worth and Acceptance
Right from infancy, let the children know that they are God’s children. Teach them to love and obey God’s commandments and the blessings they have in Christ Jesus. The knowledge of God will give your children self worth (see Daniel 11:32). When they receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the Spirit of excellence will dwell in them. As they grow spiritually and acknowledge God in all they do, they will find favor and acceptance with God and with man.

Joseph was highly favored even as a slave in Egypt, because his father taught him godly principles (Genesis 39:1-20). Your children are holy seeds with the potential for greatness. They need to be nurtured.

…to be continued

Have a great week Chutzpah fam,

About the author: Dr Caroline Umebese is an Associate Professor at the University of Lagos, a Pastor at the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM HQ) and a mother of four with a passion for young people.

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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in #TeamJesus


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The Christmas Break…


What breaks in a moment may take years to mend…Swedish Proverb

The holidays are upon us. Christmas brings with it days off work, endless feasts, merry making and all sorts of new and exciting adventures for both young and old.

Like all holidays it is a time for family and like all family gatherings friction is often not too far off. This holiday be mindful of the words you utter to those nearest and dearest to you. Words are like knives and a person once cut may end up nursing that
festering wound for the next 365 days.

Remember how you felt the day you broke that glass ornament after your mum specifically asked you not to touch it? You wished you could fix it, you prayed the pieces would magically come together and offer you the second chance you so needed.

Many things in life once broken, take years to mend, others are forever destroyed; Trust, Confidence, Friendship, Family-ties the list is endless. So as you delve into this wonderful holiday be careful not to break anything(or anyone). Family is like a pack of Skittles, every one is uniquely different but you get such a zing when they unite in your mouth. Don’t let a cherry ruffle you up!

Season’s greetings chutzpah fam!
Don’t drink and drive…


Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


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When Daddy says No!

For many of us our fathers are our heroes. They don’t have capes and don’t always get it right but we know they love us fiercely and want only the very best for us or why else would they work from dawn to dusk or be so strict with us every once in a while? Without doubt daddy always knows best…

My friend ‘M’ has had to carefully consider this as mutiny unfolds in her household. She comes from a family with 4 daughters and her father has always been strict where men were concerned. This wasn’t alarming because most men would unsheath their swords at the slightest lingering glance cast upon their female spawn but as she and her sisters approached the giveaway age, their father found a new rule to daily add to his barrage of rules and regulations and like slaves they groaned and tried to adjust while holding on to the tattered remains of a social life till things came to a head when her sister brought her secret boyfriend home. They’d been dating for years and the guy had popped the question. Needless to say, her father was shocked that the man could go behind enemy lines and have the effontery to seek his daughter’s hand but alas he could not find anything wrong with him other than his tribe and capitalized on that, swearing that over his dead body would he ever condone the union.

Anyone who has ever lived in a house full of women knows that one can’t win a war against a bunch of starry-eyed, love-sick women. The conspiracy began and various strategies were employed but two years after, her father still wouldn’t budge. He didn’t mind the tears, was unmoved by the chorused pleas and undeterred by doors banging in feigned rebellion. He knew he had good children and that despite their chagrin they actually did believe that father knew best or so he thought…

The girls had taken it personal, M was dating a man from the same tribe as her elder sister’s fiance so she knew winning the battle for them would end the war. Her elder sister recently did a secret court marriage and according to the Federal Republic of Nigeria she is legally married. She has decided that her final attack will be a missed period followed by an elopement of sorts if her father doesn’t change his mind. Here she is caught in the middle, pitched between the man she always called hero and another man who may never love her even half as much as her father does…Does daddy always know best?

My mother told me the story of her classmate who had to wait years till her father conceded to her marriage. Her father had been an influential man and had high hopes of his daughter marrying ‘well’ and that didn’t include the village-headmaster, poor as a church rat, hungry looking man who obviously adored his daughter. Why wouldn’t he? Poor sap! The young lad probably saw his daughter as his ticket out of poverty and he only accepted him after he was sure no other eligible bachelor was on the horizon.

It’s quite criminal that we are not warned before hand that our fathers are gonna go on a guilt trip once the doctor pronounces our sex, fearing karma for all the misdeeds of their youth and dragging us along in their shadows till they find an ‘unsharp’ man to hand us over to! Little wonder the ‘badder’ a man is as a young man, the more fearsome and formidable he is as a parent especially where his girls are concerned. He looks at them and remembers the kele kele loves, one night stands and countless broken hearts he left in his stride not to mention the abortions. There is no way he is gonna allow miss-know-it-all karma who looks just like the ex who cursed him, get a hold of his darling, precious, innocent daughter.

…And the saga continues. So do we listen to daddy and follow him like a good daughter would, away from our singing hearts and raging hormones or do we do an ‘omo buruku’ number on him and follow the man of our dreams, the rogue who’ll be a potential daddy in a couple of years? Women marry their fathers, so they say& like poles repel (Do the maths); Hence the father/son-in-law tiffs. There’s a little girl whispering into her daddy’s ears somewhere…’Daddy you taught me right from wrong, you showed me how to survive and be sharp in the jungle we live in, now I need you to trust me…’

Sometimes fathers may not get it right but you’ll always be the little girl they held in their arms at the hospital and swore to love and protect. While I may not have the answers my friend M desperately seeks, I do know that our people say that what the elders see sitting down, the children can never see even if they climb on top of a tree…

Have a great day peeps…xoxoxo


Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Inspirational, Relationships


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The Commitment Predator!

Never in the history of the world has it ever occurred that a person was protected from untoward advances because he or she announced they were committed to someone! Eve was tempted by the serpent even though she was solely for Adam. Abraham had to lie that Sarah was his sister because he was afraid the King would kill him just so he could acquire her. Joseph got jailed because he said no to a married woman. In fact, it seems you suddenly get ‘hotter’ when you are attached to someone else…

It was something we noticed in university. A hot single girl would get toasters but they were more often than not, men looking to sleep with her, while the girl in a serious relationship had to chase away other potential future husbands like flies. I had an ex who complained that a couple of weeks after we started dating, his market value suddenly tripled and every single girl wanted a piece of him. Did he walk with more swag because someone in the world thought he was awesome? We’ll never know… This phenomenon has repeated itself so many times that single people are starting to ask if there’s any justice in the world. 😦

I was talking to my friend J who recently got married and he seemed to punctuate every sentence with ‘Can’t you see I’m married’, while he brandished his shiny ring for all to see. I praised his whole-hearted commitment to the institute of marriage which got everyone laughing and he decided to share some secrets with me. They aren’t new but it’s quite alarming that all the men know these facts. Seems like we women need a new game plan cos catching your man without his wedding ring on is no more a sure banker that he is up to no good!

Here are J’s top 5 reasons why women prefer a married man! *shock*

1. Women believe married guys have more money so their needs will be better met.
2. Sometimes women want something discrete and without commitment- No strings attached and a married man is the right man for the job.
3. Married men are presumed to be more responsible since they actually forsook all others and made a lasting commitment. (An irony if you ask me)
4. Women like the fact that the men can be blackmailed easily. (My wife must not find out ohhh!)
5. Married men do not brag after scoring on a chick and women love that!!!

Unfortunately for the married women out there, J’s right but I know his wife is a lucky woman because a man who is willing to publicise the tricks of the game must not be eager to play the game and win! That’s why I am a firm believer that a man should sow all his wild oats and enjoy his youth before he settles down so that he has a ‘been there, done that’ mentality after marriage. It makes them calmer and more focussed. Although there are exceptions… 😉

Now back to the topic at hand…
Commitment predators are everywhere. I know a girl whose eyes light up every time she sees another woman’s man. To her it’s a personal challenge, a means to prove that she is better than the next woman especially if she succeeds in stealing the man’s attention. Single, unattached men hold no thrill for her. There are many men like her too. Hot looking bachelors that make men squirm and women blush once they set their eyes on another’s prey.

Covetousness is defined as a strong desire to obtain or acquire the possessions of another. The tenth commandment clearly states that ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, wife (girlfriend included), servants, ox (means of livelihood), ass (means of transportation) nor anything that is thy neighbour’s. Exodus 20:17. And in response to the subject matter, the unimpressed and cocky commitment predator says ‘don’t hate the player, hate the game’; ‘all is fair in love and war!’. 😉

Where does all this leave the single folk? Some guys think there has got to be something wrong with a woman who’s single. They begin to slap imaginary character flaws on her. If she’s pretty, they’d complain that she was most likely choosy. If she had a temper or couldn’t cook or was slutty or stingy then they’d say that must be reason enough for her permanent lodge in singleville! It’s ridiculous because everyone knows a girl or guy in a serious relationship or even married, who has major character issues!
Even parents and older relations are not left out. An aunt of mine started complaining to my parents about my need to tone down my dressing in order to catch a husband. I was shocked because her idea of toning down on further explanation, was avoiding bright colours and dress styles that made me look remotely stylish however decent the outfit appeared! My cousin L with her cute dreads has had her fair share of ridicule like there were no married women with dreads in the world! Women have been warned about buying big cars or living in posh apartments that they have honestly worked for because it would chase away a potential husband. Single women have been labelled as loose because they have dated one too many men in a bid to find one who actually gets them. Even single men are not spared. They are harassed with a barrage of personality-assessment questions and every woman they merely glance at is immediately brought under close scrutiny by family as a potential wife. They are labelled as players, being too choosy or heart breakers all because they haven’t found the love of their lives. And then there’s the endless matchmaking… Would someone give these single people a break? They are not ill or deformed. Some of them would even revel in the joys of singlehood if they didn’t constantly have their families and society on their case. And then again there’s the commitment predator who charming as he/she is, constantly pushes them aside in pursuit of an unattainable feat…

Yes sometimes the predator gets lucky and a man or woman falls into the hands of this suave gentleman or daughter of eve and a hot romance ensues and then the person with the commitment makes the ultimate mistake! He/she decides the grass is greener on the other side and the predator is more exciting than his/her partner and breaks things off or even elopes only to discover that the CP loses interest once the thrill is spent! Sometimes these people return to their partners begging for forgiveness and blaming ‘Mr Devil’, other times they get caught in the throes of infidelity trying to eat their cake and have it and are kicked out and still blame ‘Mr Devil’. This is such a cliche story that people shouldn’t be fooled anymore.

Don’t mistake a commitment predator’s antics for those of a man or woman genuinely in love. There have been honest to goodness stories where a man or woman sees a woman or man in a relationship and is undaunted because he/she knows that person is their heart and some of these stories end in happy ever afters. Not sure about the wife-snatching or husband snatching oh, because one must consider the scandals surrounding adultery and divorce before embracing a love in Tokyo! 😉

How do you spot a commitment predator? They come in various sizes, shapes, colours and packages. When in doubt, seek advice. Remember that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush! And as for you CPs out there, everyday for the thief, one day for the owner. We know you have your personal, perfectly understandable reasons for this, most of which are tied to your fear of commitment, love for the exciting and the thrill of the chase but do remember Karma’s a b**ch and even 007 retires at some point to make way for new things!

Have a lovely week people and stay vigilant…xoxoxo 😉 🙂


Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Manology, Relationships


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