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The Race

Are you feeling discouraged because your life isn’t going according to plan?

Are you feeling down because everyone around you seems to be moving forward and you feel stuck in the mud?

That was me some days ago and this is what dropped into my heart as the car sped down the highway back to Benin city and it dragged me right out of the funk…

Everyone has their time to shine…
Their purpose, their trials…
Their wins and their losses…

Sometimes someone may seem to be running the same race as you are but don’t make them your focus…

See it as two cars momentarily side by side as they speed on a highway, both going to different destinations, either of them will make one or more stops before they get there or even a detour…

Your journey is not determined by the journey of the car closest to you on the highway regardless of your comparative speed…

Be rest assured that you will get to your destination…

It doesn’t matter if others get there first…

It doesn’t matter if you seem last on the queue…

There’s a beautiful story unraveling that’s all about you…

You are not forgotten…

And you will be celebrated…

Hope this gets you out of a funk too. Sometimes we need to encourage ourselves. It can only get better…

Xoxoxo

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Inspirational

 

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The best of a bad situation

A friend tagged me in an instagram video last night and I was totally mortified as I watched a chick sashay across a hall and fall smack on her face when her high heels did a 360 on her. Amidst loud guffaws she picked herself up unceremoniously and ran out as fast as she could and there I was thinking ‘that’s a nightmare’. The truth is there is so much worse out there than merely falling flat on your nose and what you do with a bad situation really matters in the grand scheme of things.

A while back social media was agog with the news of a vlogger’s marital woes and I wondered how she stayed bright, beautiful and positive all through the nightmare and still made a buck and got an award while at it. The age of social media has seen relationships lose the element of privacy as everyone is eager to be social which includes sharing everything and I mean everything online. Now while this might be a lucrative and exhilarating hobby there’s the downside of not being able to hide your sh*t when an ill tide blows your way and while little can be done to quell this trend (we are so past the point of return), something can be done about your reaction to a bad situation.

I may not be able to ask her about her bounce back formula or how she was able to ride the storm but whatever she did I am sure she applied these surefire rules to making the best of a bad situation and I know they’d work for you regardless of whether you’re dealing with a cheating partner, a failed exam, conflict, a scandal or great loss…

  1. Take a break. You don’t need to impress anyone, there’s no award for putting on a facade and we certainly wouldn’t want you to crack. Seriously take a break. You don’t have to go on leave or quit your job or flee the state but it would help if you had a few hours alone to just breath. Inhala-exhala.

  2. Be careful who you share your woes with. Sometimes the people around you are more interested in your ‘gist’ than in sincerely giving a shoulder to cry on and bad news travels fast. If you must speak, keep it brief and vague, it’s your personal life after all. Also telling the wrong person your grievances could blow them out of proportion. Plus family never ever forget wrongs done to their bloodline so if it’s something not so catastrophic that you know you can one day get past, limit the dissemination of information.

  3. Have that one friend: That person who gives you a shoulder to lean on, has stood the test of time, would be brutally honest with you and yet show empathy. Someone who you are not ashamed to bring on the waterfalls in front of. Someone who would pray with you, encourage you and ultimately cheer you up. If you don’t have such a friend start looking, you only need one.

  4. Count your blessings. When everything is going so crazily wrong, trying to hold on to the little that is going right could be your lifeline. Is your marriage falling apart? Hold on to that great career. Is your career over? Hold on to that supportive family. Is your heart broken? Remind yourself what a hottie you are. Find a reason to smile. This might be the hardest rule but it’s the only light you have in this pitch dark tunnel. Think of the people you bring joy to or the people who think you are fabulous. Feed off their positive energy. There’s always that one good thing in the midst of the bad.

  5. PMR: Pray-Meditate-Recuperate
    Pray- Everything gets better when you pray. Jeremiah 29:11 says His thoughts for you are thoughts of good and not evil to give you a future and a hope. Let that give you reassurance. Tell him all about it. You might not understand why it’s happening but be rest assured he has a plan.
    Meditate- Get clarity on the issue. Think about the whole issue from start to finish. Focus on you this time- the mistakes you made, the things you overlooked and the things you could have done differently. Get some clarity.
    Recuperate- Think about your next step, plan, take control. You don’t have to have the whole thing figured out or your whole comeback planned out just the next step in the grand scheme of things. Never ever let yourself go in the midst of a bad situation. Have a plan no matter how unlikely to succeed it is and work your way up from there.

Bad days suck but making the best out of it is the only way you can come out stronger. Force yourself to look your best even when you feel your worst and avoid the 3 emotional pseudo-comfort foods – sugar, alcohol and sex. If you crave endorphins so badly, workout. Sounds crazy but exercise does release feel-good hormones. Don’t get fat, drunk or an STD! Sooner than you know it the sun would come out again and you’d kiss those stormy clouds goodbye! Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that’s a promise!!!

Xxx

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Life

 

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Eliminating Toxic People From Your Life

December is the month of sweet endings, it comes with fabulous holidays, a feeling of cheer and great expectations for the new year. It is also a time to clean out your closet, pack up shop, walk away and most importantly eliminate toxic people from your life so that you start the new year on a clean slate.

It seems that every Christmas for the past three years I have been doing just that!

My first Christmas, I eliminated a toxic landlord from my life. Dude had told me he was a ‘witch’ and had been monitoring my husband and I and was gonna show us his power was superior to ours (Abegiii Jesus power SUPER POWER!) – among other crazy stuff he said. Now if I lived in Chicago, i’d scoff at that and probably hook him up with a shrink but I live in Nigeria, Benin city for that matter (Did I hear someone say haaaa?!!!) anyway we prayed and started house hunting with a passion and in a week we had found this lovely house in an estate that made me feel like I was still living in Las gidi ;-).

Fast forward one year and another toxic situation was crying out for an eviction! My job had hit rock bottom. I had lost my enthusiasm for the boring routine and was daydreaming about having the sort of job that I didn’t dread going to everyday. You know that job that actually pays the bills, boosts your career aspirations and still gives you enough free time to spend doing extra curricular activities in addition to an awesome work environment (Did I hear someone say amen?) Well most of us only dream about jobs like that and my present job was far from it and just when I was half heartedly considering becoming a housewife, a new job came up; one I had applied for ages ago and voila the toxic situation got the boot!

Now this Christmas I wondered what detox I was gonna have as I eyed every unsavory person and situation in my life like a kid waiting for a miracle and then just this morning I sacked my driver. I had been managing the reckless driving, constant insubordination and manhandling of my vehicle for months till it had gotten to a point where I didn’t even consider it a foreign stressor anymore. His presence in my life had been registered in the box in my head labeled ‘necessary evils’ but last night he took it too far and when I fired him this morning I felt such a whoosh of relief that I was quite amazed at the sort of burden his exit from my life had lifted.

So how about you? What sort of toxicity are you managing? Here’s a list of toxic people and situations trending this christmas:

  1. A relationship that doesn’t bring you joy anymore.
    Is your boyfriend a cheat or have you been dating for so long and yet the relationship seems to be going nowhere? Do you have this feeling of discontent when you think about the person you are dating? Are you only with this person because you are afraid of being alone?

  2. A friendship that is putting a strain on you.
    Do you know deep down that this friend doesn’t have your back? Are you investing so much in this friendship and not getting anything out of it? Are you still friends with this person because you guys have been friends for years or the person did you some good years ago? How about the present?

  3. A job that you have lost enthusiasm for. Is your job getting you where you hoped you would be career wise? Have you been passed over for a promotion or a raise countless times? Do you have job fulfillment? Is this what you always dreamed you would do? Is the work environment conducive for you? Is your company about to go under but you are scared of jumping ship despite all the signs? Is your boss horrible to work with?

  4. A hired help that does more harm than good.
    After watching the Ugandan maid beat up that toddler or hearing about the Abuja maid who strangled a 3 year old because the parents wouldn’t let her travel home for Christmas or the keke driver who sold a woman’s three kids to ritualists in Warri for 5 million naira or my very own driver who drove my car into a ditch because I couldn’t give him money for his house rent, one needs to be very careful about the people who work for you. Once your instincts tell you to cut them loose do so at once, delay may cost you more than you ever bargained for.

5. A situation that you have been bearing for a long while.
I know Nigerians are great at suffering and smiling but sometimes all one needs is a little push to change a lifelong difficult situation. How long will you keep managing? How long will you keep depriving yourself of the happiness you deserve? Till death? (God forbid)

Even if your trouble didn’t fall into numbers 1-4 above, 5 is definitely all encompassing. Aren’t you tired of the toxicity in your life? Isn’t it time you said ‘ENOUGH‘?

You can’t continue being a pawn in life’s circumstances. Waiting for ‘fate’ to smile at you or for something to finally happen. You need to do something! If you are not happy about any aspect of your life it is your duty to fix it. Nobody is gonna do anything about it for you. Life na per head and it’s too damn short to live it managing situations or people you had no business with in the first place. What’s the worst that could happen? We just allow the fear of the unknown keep us in shackles all year long. I know a friend who at 30 is quitting her very lucrative bank job and wants to go back to school just so she can pursue her dream- her actual dream not the second hand dream constant hustle makes you settle for. I admire her a lot and this coming 2015 I have decided that it would be a year of many leaps of faith however small. It’s time to release the greatness in you and the first step is to eliminate toxic people from your life. Anyone that robs you of your joy and peace has got to go!

Who’s with me???

Season’s greetings chutzpah fam,
Xoxo

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 18, 2014 in Relationships

 

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Top 7 Ws, a one-way trip to hell: The Hard truth!

Today is Sunday and I did promise to write an inspirational post on Sundays in keeping with the ‘Church’ mood…

Many times we ignore the little sins, the little foxes that ruin our vineyard, the ones that have become habits or ‘innocent addictions’ that are accepted as normal behaviour in our culture and sometimes we even forget to include them in our confession of sin because we believe that if we overlook them, God will overlook them too. We seem to have managed to pull the wool over our eyes but God is not mocked…

Let’s analyse the 7 little addictions that we ignore and even dance heartily the morning after in the front pews of church after a night of suspect behaviour.

…An addiction is a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance for personal gratification and enjoyment despite its negative consequences either in the short term or in the long run…

Here’s my Top 7 ‘Ws’ List…
1. Wine
2. Women (sex—>fornication/adultery)
3. Weed (+smoking and recreational drugs)
4. Wanking
5. Web (Internet: social network addictions/ internet fraud/ internet porn)
6. Whacking (whacking eba and food in general like the world is ending tomorrow)
7. Wealth (Get rich or die trying; Hustle till u kpef!)

Joel 2:19

The Lord answered and said to his people, “Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.

1 Corinthians 6:12

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

There’s a thin line between satisfaction and enslavement…

To satisfy means to be content, to gratify a need, to fulfil a desire or expectation, to make happy…
To enslave on the other hand means to lose freedom, to subjugate, to lose control…

The bible says ‘He gives us freely, all things to enjoy…1 Timothy 6:17B’ but what father would be happy if his child got destroyed by a present he had given the child? That would be downright irresponsible!

Not gonna preach 😉 and believe me, I’m as guilty of many of the 7Ws as the next Christian but as the year comes to a close, I think it’s time for sober reflection. Everyday someone dies and no one knows when the curtain will fall…it’d be great to put our houses in order especially the crooked paintings we have gotten accustomed to bending our necks to view…

A righteous man falls seven times and rises up again…Proverbs 24:16. It is never too late to dust yourself up, go back to the Creator and get yourself back on track!

1. Wine

Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Alcohol has always been a big part of our culture and I would generally put it under the ‘satisfied’ category but a lot of people have unwittingly become ‘enslaved’ to the god of wine.

Here are the signs of alcohol addiction and even if you don’t have any of these signs, if drinking makes you misbehave or act irresponsibly or endanger the lives of those around you or say words you later regret or fall sick or have memory loss and unaccountable behaviour, or get into fights, be sure that you have abused it and God frowns at it.

Signs of alcohol dependence:
– You cannot quit drinking or control how much you drink.
– You need to drink more to get the same effect.
– You have withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. These include feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.
– You spend a lot of time drinking and recovering.
– You have given up other activities so you can drink.
– You keep drinking even though it harms your relationships and causes health problems.

Other signs:
– You drink in the morning, are often drunk for long periods of time, or drink alone.
– You change what you drink, such as switching from beer to wine because you think that doing this will help you drink less or keep you from getting drunk.
– You feel guilty after drinking.
– You make excuses for your drinking or do things to hide your drinking, such as buying alcohol at different stores.
– You worry that you won’t get enough alcohol for an evening or weekend.
– You have physical signs of alcohol dependence, such as weight loss, a sore or upset stomach (gastritis), or redness of the nose and cheeks.

This isn’t my list, it’s the alcohol dependence list from http://www.webmd.com

And there’s also the risk of liver cirrhosis and cancer. I know a guy who died last year from liver failure brought on by binge drinking. A friend of mine attributed this to the deceased drinking mostly spirits and decided to stick to beer. Alcohol in the long-run is still alcohol. It is processed by your liver in the same manner…

Isaiah 5:22-23

Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink

Moving on…

2. Women

Abstinence has become old school in the new generation despite the rise of sexually transmitted diseases especially HIV. In Nigeria there are about 3.3million people living with HIV and trust me you can’t tell by looking at their faces or inspecting their genitals! The Bible hasn’t been re-written to excuse your weaknesses. God still frowns at fornication and adultery no matter how cool the new school has made it.

1 Corinthians 6:18

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

3. Weed
Smoking increases risk of death ~3fold in people aged 40-70.
Smoking approximately doubles mortality rate in men and increases by about 33.2% the risk of death by cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Yes smoking calms your nerves or is ‘peer-pressure cool’ or keeps you warm on a cold night or clears your head or even goes well with alcohol like boli and groundnuts 😉 but it’s killing you and worse still it’s killing the hot-looking ‘passive smoker’ seated beside you whom you may or may not care about, at an even faster rate…

1 Corinthians 3:17

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Think again…

4. Wanking
Aka Masturbation.
Statistics show that as many as 90 percent of the male population and 60 percent of the female population masturbate. Masturbation is the manipulation of the genitals, usually to orgasm, without sexual intercourse. There is no scientific evidence that masturbation causes physical harm. Myths abound about masturbation, crediting it with causing insanity, blindness, pimples, warts, and even hair growth on the palms of the hands. Masturbation is always done in private by those still considered sane, only the insane would venture to do it in public but we must remember that we are never alone…

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Would you wank if you knew you were constantly being watched by a great audience including all your dead relatives? I think not! Remember that if you are not proud of it, chances are you shouldn’t be doing it…

Proverbs 6:27

Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?

Enough said…

5. Web

Internet addictions seem to be the mildest and least harmful. We reason that if we are not jerking off to internet porn or defrauding a lonely old Caucasian looking for an African queen, then our hands are clean. If anything takes up so much of your time that your relationship with the people around you and especially God as well as your duties are relegated to the background, then there’s a big problem.

Philippians 4:5

Let your moderation be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.

6. Whacking
You sabi chop! 😉 Food was made to be enjoyed but if you are eating so much that you make your body unhealthy or start to feel bad about your weight or you feel sick afterwards, then there’s a problem. Not all weight is food-induced but remember that God frowns at gluttony aka ‘oju kokoro’ and there are so many people in the world starving that eating more than our bodies can handle hardly seems fair…
Besides have you noticed how sleep settles on you after a heavy meal? It’s physiological but too much sleep makes the useful hours of the day fly by way too fast!

Proverbs 23:20-21

Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags..

7. Wealth

Who doesn’t love money? Money is the root of all evil yet money answereth all things! Both are in the bible and the bible actually condones hard work aka the hustle! I think the key word here is ‘contentment’ because without it, our quest for wealth becomes one laced with greed, envy, dishonesty and avarice!

Ecclesiastes 5:10

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

We all know the truth deep down and sometimes it seems so impossible to do right by God but we must never stop trying. His grace is sufficient for us. The worst kind of sinner is one who doesn’t care about his sins anymore or even feel bad about them and more often than not, he encourages others to sin too. You’d be surprised that we have a lot of this breed in our churches today. You and I included. We must seek God and truly repent.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Peter 4:7

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

A new week starts…Have a great night peeps…xoxoxo 😉

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Inspirational

 

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Isoko Tolopia!

Isoko tolopia means ‘Isoko carry cutlass’. It’s a known fact that Isoko men though peaceful by nature will not hesitate to ‘tolopia’ at the first wind of a man being fresh with their woman much less catching her in the throes of adultery. The women are never harmed though they are utterly disgraced by the village, often shunned by their husbands afterwards and shamefully chased out by their in-laws because they have been warned before-hand that their infidelity will result in the shedding of blood by their husbands and bring shame upon the family. Sometimes a man after killing the offender forces his wife to continue to live with him perhaps hoping that they can move past it and that the horror of witnessing her lover’s murder will be punishment enough. Now that jungle justice is no more the order of the day and civilisation has made men less prone to obeying their primal instincts, men think twice before committing murder but inflicting bodily harm is a line they will cross when a man crosses the line where their wives are concerned.

Many tribes in Nigeria have found both mythical, traditional and spiritual ways to combat a woman’s infidelity. Here are a few un-disproved examples:
In some parts of the South, there are curses associated with a woman’s infidelity and many of them have far reaching consequences, for example, a husband may die suddenly after his wife has been unfaithful. I personally do not see the sense in this as I believe tradition should allow the criminal suffer the consequences of his/her actions instead of inflicting more sorrow on the heart-broken victim. Anyway that’s a tradition that holds these people bound. And as a result, other tribes in the South put women through harrowing rituals to deduce the cause of their husbands’ deaths as infidelity is as likely a cause as witchcraft or deliberate murder.

Back in the days, in some parts of the Bini Kingdom, especially with Royalty, a woman was expected to dance nude in front of the family shrine after her husband returned from a trip so that the gods would expose her if she had been unfaithful.

In many parts of the West however, the culprit pays for his/her crimes in a rather comical manner. There’s the ever popular ‘magun’ that has inspired hit Yoruba movies and various legends. Your husband does magun for you when he is suspicious of your movements and you get stuck like glue after sex, unable to disengage. Often times the wife-snatcher dies on top the woman and the woman is left with the open shame, the trauma plus the police wahala.

In the east, a woman who is caught cheating is disgraced by the other women in the community, she is taken to the market square and they dance around her, booing and chanting because she has brought shame to the women of the community and her head is shaved bare. Her husband may also demand that her parents refund the rather steep bride-price paid for her and the man takes another wife. Her children may also suffer the repercussions and may even be disowned by their father and chased out of the house labelled as bastards.

In the North, where the Sharia law guides the people, a woman who is found in the throes of adultery is judged, sentenced and publicly stoned to death in accordance with Islamic laws. Shikena!

Men have always been unforgiving of an adulterous woman. Society has made men the flawed custodians of the vows of fidelity and they have been known to commit crimes of passion where women were killed, bathed with acid, banished, made to watch their lovers being butchered or his penis being severed and even the most docile man counts his woman cheating on him as the most grievous of offences. Almost unforgivable. But are their hands clean?

While serving in Akure, it was fairly common news to hear of a woman who rather than repenting after being caught cheating by her husband would turn around accuse him of the same offence and insult his life and since his hands were dirtier, they took their matter indoors, settled grudgingly and life continued. Sometimes these women were breadwinners, other times not!

It is rare or nearly impossible to hear of an Isoko woman ‘tolopia’ or a Yoruba woman doing magun for her husband or an Igbo man disgraced for infidelity or a Northern man stoned for adultery or a Bini man dancing naked before a shrine or going mad after being unfaithful! WHY?

With the advent of women’s lib, women have begun to adopt the ‘what is good for the gander is good for the goose’ approach and many have cheated because ‘all men cheat’ or because payback’s a b***h or because they are bored of the same old ‘soup’ or simply because there’s a prize attached to it; sometimes a blackberry phone (sic), which means the women no longer have to be emotionally attached to a man to cheat on their husband with him.

With these new trends, men have become more careful because the modern day woman is as unforgiving as the man when her feelings are trampled upon and with the financial freedom she has as well as the challenges and temptations of every day living, the reasons men give for cheating are slowly becoming unacceptable and cliche. After all, if I have a husband and family but I work 10-12 hours a day, and my husband doesn’t seem to appreciate me or even remember to tell me I’m beautiful and a sizzling sexy man at my office makes it his duty to make me blush and feel good or even a virtual man on my blackberry and YET I still remain faithful, why should I condone a man who when faced with a similar situation gives in to temptation? Men don’t wanna hear about the other men on their woman’s case but maybe if they knew just how much temptation the modern day woman overcomes on a daily basis, they wouldn’t be so fast to justify their shortcomings.

Lucky men! Nature has a way of balancing this new equation and population studies have shown that there are more women of marriageable age than men at any given time in the world today. Hence the average woman still has to slow her role cos unlike a man, she may not have the luxury of marrying multiple men or effortlessly abandoning one marriage for another. Bigamy is still a criminal offence punishable by law whereas polygamy is not!

In the hospitals, doctors are seeing new trends. Women demanding paternity tests for their un-born babies when they were neither raped nor drugged during the act that led to conception and women proudly announcing how many pregnancies and termination of pregnancies they’ve had before wedlock in a bid to demonstrate their fertility.
Men can’t point fingers cos they started the scourge and are often just as guilty. Men in the past cheated less and were more prone to marry a second wife rather than have bastard-babies. Men in the now cheat more, are almost totally against a second wife and have turned ‘bastard’ into a colloquial abuse and baby mamas are the new step-mothers!

With the marriage institution crumbling, families disintegrating, sexually transmitted diseases being spread ‘in-house’, children having queried blood lines and the population explosion, is there any point getting married? I think it is high time both men and women decide to either respect the rules of engagement and the vows of marriage or not even bother anymore. I think it’s time to dig up those dusty, almost-forgotten values and refuse to compromise. If someone has a great solution for this that will keep both parties satisfied and protect our children from the selfish emotional hurt inflicted by their parents, we’d crown him king. But while we are still tryna save the world, remember that change starts with you. I once had a boyfriend who brought the 50-50 rule to our relationship. He said babe you are as desirable, intelligent and attractive as I am so we both are gonna be tempted. If I see you at the cinema with another guy then I’m gonna take another girl to the cinema and if I catch you in a compromising situation then I know I’m free to do as I please and the same applies for me too. The measure of commitment and honesty you put in is the measure you’ll get out of it. It was a different mentality all together but it worked for us. Well he was a lawyer so not surprising. 😉 Step out of the box people, if you’ve done things one way for ages and it hasn’t worked, maybe it’s high-time you found out what works for you.

You are too old for peer pressure, decide to be too wise for media pressure! Talk to your partner and come up with rules guiding your relationship as equals. Decide that your partner and perhaps your kids are all that matter and you don’t want your piece of heaven on earth dysfunctional! Don’t wait till he or she carries cutlass! Remember “Isoko tolopia” 🙂

Have a great wednesday peeps…xoxoxo 😉 🙂

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Relationships

 

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The Labor of our heroes past shall never be in vain…

     I always wanted to be a hero like Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X or Ken Sarowiwa, I guess it stemmed from watching Sarafina re-runs as a kid. Those were heroes I believed in, not the fictional ones Marvel and DC comics entertained us with. Though it wouldn’t have hurt to have super-human strength, I didn’t quite fancy having a secret identity;-). I believed that everyone needed someone to believe in, a cause to fight for. That the weak needed a hero and he didn’t have to have a cape or a phone booth just an iron will, a caring heart and the focus and determination needed to effect a change. Heck, he didn’t even need to be a man! 🙂 I spent a great part of primary school social studies learning about Queen Amina, Mary Slessor and Joan of arc; Women could do it too…

Then I became a teenager and got a healthy dose of curiosity mixed with dread. I’d blossomed into adolescence with the curiosity that inherently followed it at a time when the leader of the country had SSS everywhere. If you coughed and his secret service heard his name in the cough, you got jailed and maybe even put away permanently. Freedom of speech was taught in school but holding your tongue was the word on the street. How could I be a hero if I couldn’t even express myself? How could I stand up to injustice if the very people supposed to hear my cry were merely puppets in the hands of a powerful tyrant? I shrank like a violet, afraid to be burnt and buried my head back in my books…

Somewhere in the Niger Delta where I am from, a group of youths were thinking and feeling the same way I was, they didn’t have books to hide behind cos most were uneducated, they didn’t have good food or money or even cartoons. They had never heard of superman or sarafina but it didn’t matter cos they felt something more powerful than a cinema could re-enact, they felt a stubbornness deep within, they felt a rage kindling like a fire as they watched the greedy power moguls smile at the expatriates with their well fed bellies and fat pockets as they plundered their land, polluted their water, killed their fish, ruined their harvest and watched in glee the widespread destruction only seeing crude oil and naira where they should have seen family legacies and means of livelihood. The youth rebelled, they wanted to be heroes. They remembered the stories they had heard as kids, the stories of men enslaved who stood up and fought for pride and honor. They knew nothing about strategy or diplomacy nor did they care to know. They had a wound, a grave injustice had been done and their grievances loomed over their adversaries. They would get back what was theirs and avenge the loss of what they held dear, they were united in a singleness of purpose…and M.E.N.D was born. Alas no one prepared them for the cunning of a deceitful tongue with a hidden agenda, empathizing with them while leading them away from the goals that governed their force…they hurt the innocent, another hero turned vile…He had told them that sometimes innocents had to be sacrificed for the greater good…they must have listened a little too attentively…

My brothers in the North had a fight too. They were born heroes, nomads without fear, serving a God who had given them the will not to back down from a fight and the wisdom to know when to hold their peace. They had stood up against the decadence of the Western civilization, alarmed that the secular education would erase the morals of their precious children, make them forget Allah and embrace a life that would disgrace their lineage. Somebody got fed-up, somebody looked at the infidels on television and swore to end the plague that attacked his people like a deadly virus from a land beyond the seas. Somebody felt that burning desire to impact his surroundings and earn a place in the heavens and Boko Haram was born. No child was meant to die, no innocent was meant to perish, the people were supposed to be forced out of the trance they had entered and focus on all that was holy but somebody didn’t realize that his idea was the perfect loophole for those who sought evil, somebody didn’t anticipate that impressionable youths could be brainwashed to break the laws of the very book they fought to uphold and protect. Somebody didn’t know…He only wanted to be a hero.

Some chose the power of the pen, others the power of the sword, others the power of their voice and yet others the strength of their actions. There’s a hero in us all and a thin line separates hero from villain, it all depends on who you are cheering for and whether or not your cause falls in line with the greater good. Our greater good has always been “One Nation bound in freedom, peace and unity…”

Nigeria is 51 and it is a land of forgotten heroes. Who sings the praises of Sir Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Herbert Macauley and Obafemi Awolowo? Rather than striving to perfect the work that these men gave their lives fighting for, we trample on their memories and spit on their graves. If they lived in these times, would they have been motivated to fight or would they have sat folding hands in despair like most Nigerians do viewing our nation as un-redeemable? Would they weep if they could see our misguided heroes-turned-terrorists or the would-be heroes banished permanently to the back seat of our minds because someone had told us it was better to live a miserable life than fight? For how long would Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe fight alone? For how long would we allow the blood of MKO Abiola, Ken Sarowiwa and Bola Ige be just a couple of senseless killings?
“The Labor of our Heroes past shall never be in vain…”

Every time we sang the National anthem, we glossed over the words like they were the lyrics of a not-so-popular song. Where did the compatriots go? They had still not arisen to obey Nigeria’s call to serve, too busy chasing 1000 naira notes. Gani Fawehinmi had taken that anthem seriously, Tai Solarin had too but were they random oddballs in a sea of bland citizens?
And how about our un-sung heroes? T.Y Bello who chose to lift our spirits and paint a beautiful Nigeria among the negative bandwagon who took delight in flogging a dead horse and spelling out the troubles of a nation already under worldwide public ridicule?
How about the man or woman or child who chose to do right in a country where right hardly paid off? These were our heroes. You could be one too… We cannot build our nation if everyone wants to be the villain. The nation is ripe for salvation, we are 51…Life begins at 40…11years gone and we still long for a hero, a man or woman who will break the status quo, who will fear no man, who will make the world pay attention and create a Nigeria we have only dreamed of. Search within you, we all have a special gift. One day, the God we serve will require of each of us our country Nigeria and while we rattle on about what Nigeria didn’t do for us, He will raise His hand so we pause and ask what we did for Nigeria.

“Make we join hands to make Nigeria better…”

Happy Independence Day Nigerians!!!

…Daddy when I grow up, I wanna be a hero like superman and fly and catch all those bad bad people way dey spoil Nigeria… 😉 Amen

Do not give up on Nigeria…Have a great night peeps…xoxoxo 😉

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Inspirational

 

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The blood of the innocent must be avenged!

    Friday the 26th of August, started out as an ordinary day in Abuja, no one except those behind the attack could have predicted that the city would be thrown into turmoil before noon that day. It was business as usual at the office of the United Nations, a conference was on and about 300 people were gathered to discuss issues geared towards making Nigeria and Africa as a whole, a better place. They were unaware of the car that drove into the premises, they couldn’t hear the commotion outside amidst the applause as the guest speaker climbed up the stage. Human ears would never have detected the timer as it ticked in precision, counting down to the massacre.

We’ll never know what was on the pages of the speech so thoughtfully put together by the guest speaker, we’ll never know if any of the children in the creche would have grown to be the next Nnamdi Azikiwe or Wole Soyinka. We’ll never know if one of those people killed, housed an idea within him that could have changed the world, it’s all gone now. In a cloud of thick smoke. All we see now are rubble and blood. Blood everywhere. Blood on the walls, blood on the floor, blood on objects that could have once been human flesh or a nice suit. All gone. What a waste! Who is the god of terrorism? Definitely not Allah. I may not be a muslim but I know that people would not readily worship a God who encouraged war in the place of peace or death instead of life. Who are the people that belong to Boko Haram? Have they no wives or children? Are they dead men walking amongst us, without feeling nor reasoning? The blood of the innocent cries out! The earth is red, I look to the right and to the left and all I see are death and destruction. From hurricanes to suicide bombers, the human life becomes nothing but a laughable wisp, as man rises up against man, nation against nation and the earth against its inhabitants. A wisp nothing more, that rises up like a cloud to be seen no more.

Once upon a time, terrorism was tied to a man called Osama and to the people whom he led but now it has infiltrated every country and every sect. From the blue eyed Nordic monster that swallowed up the lives of the innocent in a country that long ago won the Nobel Peace prize to the faceless demons called Boko Haram that sign their name in blood wreaking fear in the hearts of every Nigerian, Moslem and Christian alike. Everywhere across the globe we work, we live, we sleep, we play like chickens in a cage, not sure who will be the next sacrifice.

Boko Haram I beseech you, if you have something to say, say it. If you have a grudge against someone, point him out, maybe he will be willing to die to save his people. One man in exchange for the life of many. Why do you continue to make mothers mourn their children? Why do you continue to rob children of their parents? If you had done your homework, you would have realized there were 20 little kids in a creche in the UN building. Did you not care that the blood of these young innocents would speed up the hand of vengeance upon you? Would you visit upon the children, the sins of the fathers? Where is your mercy? You send men out to die, sacrificing their lives and taking many with them to the grave but all to what end?

I weep for my country. I weep for a nation that can barely take care of itself. I weep for a government that seems helpless amidst the chaos. I weep for Nigeria. Begone with the propaganda, begone with the plots, call a spade, a spade. If you need help, ask for help. Let every man turn to His God and cry for mercy. We cannot continue to sweep under the carpet the issues that surround us. We cannot continue life as usual because our little circle remains unharmed. The human race did not survive millions of years by being passive. Sometimes good must stand up and fight. We are a population that is dying out, we need a saviour, we need help. We cannot continue to downplay the death toll or half-heartedly tackle this issue. We cannot continue to react rather than act. Boko Haram is made up of people, every human being, every sect has a weakness, find theirs Mr President before they take away all you hold dear. For they have found your weakness, they have seen the light go out of your eyes every time they take away the life of one of your beloved people.

Nigerians now isn’t the time to criticize. No one gives a rat’s ass anymore whether we should have voted Buhari or GEJ. That is ancient history. Now we must join him and fight terrorism in this country. It is not the president who loses wives, children, husbands, mothers and fathers everyday. It is us the people. Speak up, rise up as one Nigeria, sitting back to criticize while danger draws nigh is a sheer act of stupidity. While you jeer at the man the nation put in charge, our enemies plot their next target. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Adversity tests the character of a man. He needs your support. He needs ideas. He will listen, he will act. And let us as one nation cry unto God to have mercy on Nigeria and indeed the world. We will not be wiped out by brothers who have turned their backs on us. We will not let Boko Haram have the final word in this country. Stand up and fight!

Arise o compatriots, Nigeria calls, obey!

May the souls of those who died in the bomb blast rest in perfect peace… My prayers are with their families.

YOU SHALL BE AVENGED

Nigerians, may those who crave peace indeed have a peaceful week but as for those who seek destruction, there is no rest for the wicked…

xoxo

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Hall of Fame, Inspirational

 

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