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Accountability Isn’t Chocolate

Accountability Isn’t Chocolate

I have struggled with inordinate affections for chocolate for some time now. Chocolate isn’t good for me. I could write a long list of the reasons why but time and time again I’d smell its tantalizing scent and gaze upon its well chiselled angles and I’d lose my will and resolve.

It got really bad and I had to tell one of my friends about it. Babe out of love still allowed me indulge a little bit yet she’d give her fair share of warnings to fulfil all righteousness.

Chocolate was giving me drama and yet like a parasite I couldn’t shake it off. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and I couldn’t recognize the person on the other side. She had become needy, jumpy, desperate for a sweet treat, tolerating rubbish just for a moment of sweet sublime. I didn’t like her. I didn’t admire her.

Chocolate definitely didn’t deserve such human adoration or reliance so I got myself a confessor. I picked carefully this time. Found a no nonsense health junky who thought chocolate was the devil! He was brutal, blunt and bold. He spelt it out to me in plain English, sucked out the romance and left me with a toothache. I couldn’t fault him because deep down I knew he was telling the truth. I decided to do better, no candy could hold me down. I started my 12 steps out of chocolate addiction. I was determined. Baby steps I said. I saw remarkable improvements in a short time. Alas it made me cocky.

I began to look disrespectfully at the miniature chocolate bars, eyeing them with disdain. Wondering how I ever let them get the best of me. I was wiser, smarter, too amazing for such filth. I pitied the lesser humans who hadn’t been able to shake off chocolate. I imagined my life free of all encumberances and couldn’t wait to be pronounced fully cured…

I bought some chocolate the other day. Naah don’t worry, I’m good. It was for my niece. I chuckled at a chocolate commercial, naah don’t worry I’m good, the commercial was really good. Last night I dreamed of chocolate. Naah don’t worry, it was a lingering memory but today I saw a really nice pic of a chocolate bar. The one that makes you want to prance into a candy store and I put it up for the world to see and gbam!, into my life with much aplomb came my two accountability partners. We are watching you they said. I blushed with embarrassment and tried to make jest of it. Naah don’t worry I’m fine. The joke was lost on them. Not a smile, their shoulders still stiff. You promised you wouldn’t embrace the darkness again they said. I remembered my promise. I didn’t want to embrace the dark, richness that often turned sour in my mouth but then I saw where I was, standing very close to the precipice. I was on the edge and I didn’t even know it. The familiar had crept up on me and almost entrapped my emotions the same way it had before. I hadn’t slain my dragons, I had merely chained them and they had somehow lured me beyond the safety of the chains and into their den. I needed the reminder, I desperately needed the wake up call. I wasn’t cured, I was in remission from an addiction that still lurked in the shadows. I looked at my friends with tears in my eyes, my accountability partners. Not all heroes wear capes…#grateful

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Posted by on February 4, 2019 in Inspirational

 

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The 411 on making the best of a bad in-law situation and more!

Hey everyone, so the in-law trilogy has gotten such a buzz, thanks for the input, shared experiences and the support. Today I’d like to draw the curtain on the three-part series and I am making this a double dose. Yours truly will be giving you not only the 411 on making the best out of a bad in-law situation but also, the 10 commandments to being a good great in-law!
So here goes:

10 tips on making the best of a bad in-law situation:

  1. Avoid the situation: When you marry someone, you marry their families as well, especially in Africa so if you know that family is the match to your gun powder then stop eyeing their son and marry a man with a family you can stand like!

  2. Pray: I am not going to mince words here. It isn’t enough to spend days and nights praying about your dream man, devote some time to praying he has a great family that will adore and support you because it takes one bad in-law to ruin a perfect fairytale! And if you are already stuck with them, keep praying about them. Miracles happen when you pray, there is no situation too hard for God to fix!

  3. Don’t smell what you can’t eat: If you know washing your sister in-law’s clothes will be an issue, don’t do it a couple of times in the beginning hoping she will stop asking because when you stop doing it you become the vile wife who was pretending all the while! This is not to say you have to be rigid, compromise some but do not go against your moral principles and sense of justice.

  4. Avoid confrontations: This is one of the times when tackling the problem head on isn’t the best solution. You need tact and wisdom when tackling bad in-laws because every thing you say will be counted as rudeness in an exchange of words. There are many ways to win a battle. A friend of mine says she smiles anytime her in-laws are trying to aggravate her and doesn’t utter a word. Over time they have gotten wary of that smile because it makes them feel powerless and they actually don’t know what she’s thinking plotting or what her next move is going to be. Find what works for you but avoid confrontation because a little shove will be reported as the merciless beating you gave your in-law and you definitely don’t need the ensuing drama.

  5. Be firm: My friend T, who is a pediatrician had issues with her mother-in-law when she came to take care of she and the baby. Every time her mother-in-law tried to give her baby water or a bit of soup saying breast milk wasn’t enough she stood her ground with a firm NO. It caused friction for a while but by her second pregnancy dear mother-in-law had adapted and was even the one advising the other women in the village not to do some of the things she had earlier on tried to do. T said she wasn’t rude or aggressive and never once raised her voice but she stood her ground and despite the complaints her in-law finally did as she asked. She also made sure she treated her very nicely all through her stay so that dear MIL couldn’t stay mad at her.

  6. Familiarity breeds contempt: Be nice, be courteous but do not give room for see-finish if you know that you are already walking on eggshells around your in-laws. Let there be a mutual respect between both of you and that can’t happen if they are already taking you for granted. Don’t be too available or too open. This is a delicate balance because they need to see that you have accepted them as family but at the same time they need to know that they cannot treat you anyhow.

  7. Let your spouse be your shield: If you have bad in-laws then more than ever you need to bond with your spouse to the extent that he is ready to defend you, fight for you and drink panadol for any little headache of yours. They are his family, he is the only one who is going to be able to make them leave you alone, the only person who can actually keep them in check without thinking twice. Agreed that some men like to sit on the fence when it’s their family versus their wife but really you live with him, sleep with him and take care of him, if you can’t sway him over to your side with all the ammunition love you have, then no one else can help you. Be prepared though because when a man makes his woman untouchable, it’s only a matter of time before they label the wife a daughter of the devil who has bewitched their son lol!

  8. Give them love and attention: These two ingredients work wonders on even the hardest hearts. Remember, hurting people hurt others. They may not respond to it at first simply because they doubt your sincerity but if you keep on loving and showing them you care eventually even the iciest of Queens will melt. Besides, what would Jesus do?

  9. First to report, wins the case: If you are having ongoing battles with your in-laws and it ultimately always ends with your husband acting as judge and jury then it would be in your best interest to be on the offensive instead of always defending yourself. So next time there’s a row, don’t wait till hubby starts asking you what you did to his mother/sister to try to convince him that you were the victim because it might already be a tad late since he would have already made up his mind based on the first story he heard, call him up and serve him your pain while it’s piping hot so that the Voltron in him can rise up and defend his universe! 😉

  10. Don’t be petty: It takes two to have an argument. Learn to overlook some things. Being long suffering is a virtue and a mature person doesn’t take offense at every little word or deed. Try to be the bigger person. The monster in-law might just be testing you, don’t fall for her poking. Many in-law battles start from the smallest of inconveniences and words that you could actually have turned a deaf ear to. Pick your battles, remember that not every one in the world is sane or in a good place, don’t let them rob you of your peace.

I am sure there are dozens of other foolproof tips for surviving bad in-laws. I hope these were helpful enough. May the odds always be in your favor!

And to round up I shall go over the 10 commandments of being a great in-law for those who weren’t aware or had forgotten! KJV MCV style 😉

Commandment number one: Thou shalt not meddle!

Commandment number two: Thou shalt treat her like she was thy own flesh and blood.

Commandment number three: Thou shalt not bully thy brother’s wife (or son’s wife).

Commandment number four: Thou shalt not try to emotionally blackmail thy kin against his/her spouse.

Commandment number five: Thou shalt not covet thy brother’s property (or son’s property).

Commandment number six: Thou shalt not compete for the affection of thy brother’s heart with his wife (or son’s heart).

Commandment number seven: Thou shalt know thy place as a guest in thy son’s house (or brother’s house).

Commandment number eight: Thou shalt not bring to tears anyone whose bride price was paid by your kin for whatever reason.

Commandment number nine: Thou shalt not play God in the lives of any person married into your family.

Commandment number ten: Thou shalt treat everyone the exact same way you hope to be treated for whatever thou soweth, thou shalt reap!

Amen and it’s a wrap!
Please read, share, like and comment.
Have a super weekend and may you be blessed with the most fabulous in-laws and may the bad ones have a heart transplant tonight! Shout out to all the great in-laws out there- mine included. The bad ones are just a copy gone wrong (Made in Aba) and we all know if it’s not panadol, it’s not the same thing as panadol!  😉

Xoxoxo

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2015 in Relationships

 

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In-law behavior from hell!

Have you ever wondered why a seemingly good, decent person, highly religious if I might add would morph into a controlling, egotistical, seemingly heartless and very selfish warlord and rain fire and brimstone on a man or woman whose only crime was marrying into said warlord’s family?

Yes I said it…Today I am gonna be ranting about in-laws from hell. I have great in-laws to be honest and I’ll always be thankful for them but I have heard so many bizarre stories about in-laws that I just had to scream. Every human being is a potential in-law so you are not exempt. In the African setting even cousins and distant relatives feel they have in-law rights. This is partly true because of the integrated extended family culture, however shouldn’t there be a line drawn somewhere?

Today I am going to highlight the 10 worst in-law behavior ever and in my next two posts will give the 411 on the 10 things you didn’t know about being a bad in-law and the 10 commandments to being a great in-law. The truth about life in general is that whatever you sow, you will definitely reap. So if you are mean to someone because the person is married to your brother or happened to marry into your family, it’s only a matter of time till your own in-laws treat you worse (unless you don’t ever intend to marry and in that case Karma will still find another way of biting you in the arse). Little wonder some women have actually said they wouldn’t marry a man whose mother is still alive (I am utterly shocked by this though, imagine if someone was actively praying away your mum?)

Anyway without further ado, I shall chook my head right into this:

10 worst in-law behavior

  1. Unsolicited Opinions
  2. The Ex- comparison
  3. Nitpicking
  4. My way or the highway
  5. Emotional blackmail
  6. My family is better than yours
  7. CNN world report
  8. His money is mine
  9. She’s meant to serve us
  10. Hurting people hurt others

Here we go…

  1. Unsolicited opinions: This is the most common worst in-law behavior. Telling ‘our wife‘ what to wear, how to act, what to do in every situation, why she isn’t yet a good wife, why she isn’t pregnant yet, how to train her children- your nieces and nephews/ grandchildren, how to cook that meal she has been cooking since before she met you…the opinions are endless. The thing is opinions are like butt holes, everyone has them but it’s very impolite to stick them in someone else’s face! How would you feel if someone constantly had an opinion about everything you had to say or do? Many times the in-laws tell themselves they have their brother or son’s best interest at heart but your brother is a grown ass man who chose the wisest, smartest, most beautiful woman he could find as a wife (and vice versa) and if he can trust her to run his home and life, you should too. In any case it really isn’t your business and most times it isn’t in your brother’s best interest to cause a rift in his home. Recently my friend B complained to me about how her in-law came in to the kitchen and added a cup of water into her jollof rice saying it was about to burn. B had painstakingly followed a recipe she found online and was waiting for the slight burn that gives the party, firewood flavor to home-made rice but instead got stuck with soggy rice and a self-righteous in-law who kept announcing at the dinner table that jollof rice was so easy to make and insisting her cup of water had saved an already bad situation. Sheesh!

  2. The Ex-comparison: Comparing ‘our wife’ to your brother’s oh so perfect ex-girlfriend is utter rubbish. The decision to marry girl A instead of girl B was his to make and punishing ‘our wife’ for your brother’s life choices is sad and petty. A colleague of mine G was complaining bitterly about how her husband-to-be’s aunt kept mentioning the great ex he had and how she didn’t understand why on earth he was marrying her. So many women are not going to heaven simply because of the way we hate on other women haba! I was particularly baffled by an old lady I met recently whose son’s ex was an old acquaintance. Her son was married with kids and yet she spent almost half an hour talking about how great the acquaintance would have been for her son and get this- she was almost teary eyed. Recounting so many fond stories that my ears burned. Woman get over it! Your son is happily married to some other woman, love her instead of this idolized distant memory!!! Don’t you ever stop to wonder how hurt ‘our wife’ feels when she constantly doesn’t measure up to the ex?

  3. Nitpicking: ‘ Fussy or pedantic fault-finding’. That’s how the dictionary aptly defines it. Worst behavior number 3 is nitpicking. It’s so annoying when someone finds fault in every thing you do. I once heard a story about a nitpicking mother in law who would say: “The onions in this egg are too crunchy”, “The floor isn’t properly swept” and would proceed to re-do what ‘our wife’ had so painstakingly done moments earlier. Seriously that woman needed a j-o-b!!! I wonder if she would have been so feisty if her own aged in-laws treated her the same. Dear in-law please save your OCD for your own family or better still get help!

  4. My way or the highway: A church member told about her sister in-law who insisted on handling every little detail of the preparation for her baby even up to deciding what clothes to buy for the baby. She didn’t allow ‘our wife’ pick even a single item and every time she didn’t get her way she would stamp her foot on the ground or bad mouth ‘our wife’ and insist her family wasn’t paying for part of the delivery process in America, a delivery that she had insisted she also travel to ‘help out’ with. ‘Our wife’ gladly paid for each item sister-in-law struck off the list which aggravated all the more the sister-in-law. Oooh poor child, did someone rob you of your fairy tale life oh so long ago or are you trying to live your life vicariously through ‘our wife’ or better still hope stealing her limelight will put a little shine on your dull existence? It’s quite psychotic to believe you can have your way in everything where someone else’s nuclear family is concerned and I don’t care how close you are to the family- you are still extended family!

  5. Emotional blackmail: “I carried you for 9 months, worked 3 jobs to send you to school…”, “…after all we have done for you (sob); how can you pick her over us…”.
    Stop it please! Yes he will always be grateful for your love, care and sacrifices but you can’t hold them over him for the rest of his life. What if your husband’s mother had done that to you? And even if she did, it’s not an excuse to do it to your children too. So many in-laws fight dirty, clouding the man’s judgement with crocodile tears. Men, no one can replace the family who brought you into this world but once you are married, your loyalty should be to your wife (and vice versa). A daddy’s girl or a mummy’s boy has no business getting married. Marriage is about a man LEAVING (his family) and CLEAVING (to his wife). The bible says it, the justice system believes it and society accepts it. Every other scenario is an anomaly. If your mum and wife were drowning and you could only save one, you best be saving your wife- it’s your dad’s job to save your mother!

  6. My family is better than yours: Marriage is a beautiful thing because it unites the rich and poor, the learned and illiterates, the classy and uncouth. Why? Because it isn’t about the Montagues and the Capulets but about Romeo and Juliet. Those two people who chose to be together despite the odds. This leads us to worst behavior number 6- my family is better than yours. That statement alone is poison. Children born into that marriage will be a blend of both families and will be exposed to the mannerisms and ideals of both. It doesn’t matter who had what before the start of the marriage. This comparison is hurtful, demeaning and self-righteous and often belies a deep down inferiority complex manifesting as superiority airs and graces. Please stop it! You didn’t do her a favor by marrying her.

  7. CNN world report: Are you that in law who is Mr or Miss Wiki-leaks or Sister i-report? The one who says all including the unseen with added salt and pepper? Then you are a monitoring spirit. Some things are private between a man and woman and their immediate household and because they agreed to let you into their home does not give you right to give CNN world report a run for their money. It’s a breach of privacy and backstabbing to say the least since ‘our wife’ not only opened her doors to you but picks up after you without complaints. No one’s perfect, I am sure if we sent a correspondent to your house to compare we’d have a heart attack. Mama doesn’t need to know everything that happened while you were there neither do the village elders!!!

  8. His money is mine: If a man has a family of his own, how can the extended family think his money is theirs? When you were paying his school fees did you categorically tell him that every dime he made after graduation would be yours? I am so sure he wouldn’t have agreed to such. In-laws this is worst behavior number 8!!! Your man’s money is yours and the kids so why should your son’s money also be yours? Your father’s money likewise is yours and your mum’s so why on earth should your siblings give you all of theirs too? Please go and get a job. There are no hand-me-downs here. Even if you are winning right now, Karma doesn’t play around, you had best be warned!

  9. She’s meant to serve (us): Our wife is not the maid. She cannot clean up after you, pick up after you and care for you like you were handicapped. It’s just plain wrong. Even in-laws who are younger than ‘our wife’ are so guilty of this. This is worst behavior number 9 and it stinks. Treat that woman right or someone else will treat you so wrong. There’s no standing order that marriage is a contract unto slavery. Her bride price was not an advance payment for manual labor. No wonder some traditions return the brideprice!

  10. Hurting people hurt others: This is for those in-laws who combine the 9 worst behaviors listed above with some of their own. No mentally stable, well-adjusted, happy and functional human being will treat another person in the ways listed above. Only a hurting person hurts others. Many times if you look closely, the monster in-law has a bad marriage, deep loneliness, an obvious deficiency, a history of abuse or scars from the past coupled with palpable discontent with life causing them to met out pain in the name of discipline, goodwill or protection of family. Feel sorry for them because truly they live a miserable existence, don’t join them in the bitterness parade, instead pray for them each and every day that the good Lord fills the void in their hearts! Amen.

Jesus please fix it!


So if you have good in-laws type a resounding halleluyah in the comments box and if you have stories on worst in-law behavior please drop a comment. Perhaps a reader will see herself or himself between the lines of the 10 worst behavior and change. And remember to share on social media, you just might save a marriage!

Look out for the next two posts…more on this in-law business.

Sorry for the long silence. This post is dedicated to the after-hours staff at my sister’s office who were complaining about my early retirement. Thanks for the ginger!

Have a great day Chutzpah fam,
Xoxoxo

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Relationships

 

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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

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

 

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Is love enough?

A not so recent poll showed that the average person is willing to sacrifice 6 months’ salary to find true love!
To some, this may be regarded as a bad business investment, not with the divorce rate sky rocketing and broken love being as common as a 20 naira note. Nowadays people wonder if this thing called love is worth sticking their necks out for.

What is love anyway? According to my friend D, if it isn’t ‘agape’ love (the kind taught in the bible; meaning you could be Jack in the titanic for that person), then all na wash! Cos according to him, if it ain’t that kinda love, then it’s just prada-coated lust! I was watching Tinsel last night and was so mad at Soji for going to jail for a crime he didn’t commit because of his love for some chick who’d cheated and dumped him times without number. Some weeks back, I had been itching to slap someone as Fred Ade-Williams’ wife allowed her husband’s ex into their home because he had amnesia and his only memories were not of her but of a former love. I didn’t pity her one bit when she found out they had started sleeping together! Obviously, I could never be Jack in the Titanic!

My African sensibilities forbid that I love blindly but is that enough to say all I’ve ever felt has been infatuation and lust? Is that enough to say I am incapable of knowing what true love is? Abeggy joor, course not! I have loved; Deeply, truly and sacrificially, I have had my heart broken and had it mended again. Yes this thing called love is more potent than we can imagine. But is love enough?

After things with boyfriend number two went awry because of religious differences, I learnt an important lesson. Love is like salt in soup. Without salt, the soup is tasteless, boring, almost inedible (almost I said) but yet who can eat salt alone? So again I ask, ‘Is love enough?’
Today all over the world sincere and not so sincere people proclaimed undying love for 24 hours to that special person. But was the love proclaimed enough to keep them together till next year’s valentine’s day or even till the end of the week? For many the answer is No!

If anyone claims to understand this thing called love, then the person claims to be the wisest of all. Love is damn hard to figure. Worse than a jigsaw puzzle because sometimes the pieces just don’t fit right. Love defies logic, it baffles common sense. As if that’s not enough trouble, it springs up in the most unlikely places and loves to evade those who earnestly seek it. Love… The beginning and end of wahala. It’s such a beautiful emotion yet people have acted foolishly and sometimes even committed hurtful, heinous crimes all in the name of love. But powerful as it is, is love enough?

Can love keep a couple together during a storm? Can love replace the emptiness of a bank account? Can love take away the pain of death? Can love mend a heart betrayed by infidelity? Or more cliché, can love put food on the table? Love can do a whole lot of things but there are some things it cannot do… Love cannot take the place of friendship, honesty, maturity, trust and fidelity between two people. Love heals but love destroys.

As we enjoy the spirit of the moment, let’s pause and evaluate this thing called love. It’s worthy of celebration but one must remember that it cannot stand alone. Fortifying it takes more effort than the acceptance of jobless butterflies floating around in your unsuspecting tummy! Like a rose garden love should be tenderly pruned and watered and planted in a soil rich with honesty and fertile with trust for it to blossom. It doesn’t matter if the soil be clay, humus or sandy for we were all made differently and have different priorities. Don’t wait till next year to check on your garden, it needs attention everyday…

“Love is sustained by action, it is a pattern of devotion in things we do for each other everyday…” (Nicholas Sparks)

Happy Valentine’s day Chutzpah fam!
xoxoxo

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Hall of Fame, Relationships

 

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Nigeria Revolts!

Nigerians old and young will always remember January 1st 2012 as the day the sky fell on their heads or how else would one describe the government’s removal of fuel subsidy? The decision shot up the price of petrol from N65 per litre to N141 per litre, a 116.9 percent increase, the highest single jump in the history of fuel price hikes in the country. Government said the decision was taken to free up cash and better our economy, creating more jobs and wealth but Nigerians saw the decision as a cruel and thoughtless gesture which would only worsen the current situation and aggravate the suffering in the land.

It was reported that the United Nations (UN) commended President Jonathan for withdrawing the subsidy on petroleum products, and described the move as “a bold and correct policy”. While this policy might in other circumstances and in a nation other than Nigeria have been a good one geared towards a better future, one must realize that because of the level of corruption in the nation, the freed cash would not alleviate the people’s suffering but would make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

While the cost and standard of living in Nigeria have depreciated over the years and the majority of Nigerians live from hand to mouth, the cost of maintaining those in government has been on the increase, at the expense of national development. In countries like Singapore, leaders have taken serious pay cuts so that more funds can be devoted to developmental issues but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case and the president’s shameful attempt at cutting down on his cabinet’s expenditures when translated to naira barely scratches the surface of their undeserved income.

The billions lavished on the lifestyle of government officials could have been used to get our refineries functioning one hundred percent but heaven forbid this as many of these corrupt officials are rumoured to own refineries outside the country and charge the government to have our crude oil refined and would rather take the last naira from the poor than part with their kitchen allowance! Nigerians were not ready to allow this! Majority of Nigerians were already living on less than one dollar a day. The outcry was nationwide.

A people who had mourned in silence, seemingly powerless when Boko Haram struck, rose up with a vengeance refusing to have the last morsel of their bread taken away from them.
Nigerians had taken a stand and rejected the burden put upon them for it was too heavy to bear. Subsidies had been removed in the past, many Nigerians remembered bitterly how things turned for the worse with the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) and the International Monetary Funds (IMF) reforms. The government used these in the past as an opportunity to rob its people of subsidised healthcare, education and a life they could afford and yet all they got in exchange was biting poverty and a bunch of empty promises and now history threatened to repeat itself.

The cost of goods and services following the removal of subsidy has increased by more than a hundred percent. How are we to survive when our incomes have not moved an inch and what’s to happen to those who were already on strike because they had been given a pay cut? How will the common man survive it when in 2011 he could hardly feed his family? The only people not affected were those who don’t know what it is like to work hard for a living and yet be unable to pay bills. These people were mostly in the upper class and were those supposedly entrusted with governance of the country. How does the security guard at my office who earns thirty thousand naira monthly and has two children in school pay his bills when he now spends about ten thousand naira a month on transportation alone to and from his office? How do Nigerians survive with the eighteen thousand naira minimum wage? A removal of subsidy from government’s expenditure on its cabinet would generate the funds needed and not that of the masses.

After failed dialogue with the Federal Government the Labour and civil society groups called a strike which commenced today and Nigerians were encouraged to come out on the streets and protest. The turnout was impressive all over Nigeria. The protests in Abuja were led by the workers Union President Abduwaheed Omar and in Lagos, his deputy Joe Ajaero led the protesters who took off from the Labour union secretariat at Yaba at 8.00am.

Nationwide citizens had staged “Occupy Nigeria” mass demonstrations since the removal of the subsidy, with police responding forcefully in some cases and three confirmed dead and many injured. Only in Nigeria do policemen hold guns and tear gas to fight off peaceful protesters rather than shields and batons with orders from the government. A government whose constitution allows freedom of speech and expression and who swore to protect and serve. After what happened at Tahrir square in Egypt, Nigerians are confident that the power is with the people and the nation can be brought to a halt. The government has remained passive about the goings on in the nation and have decided the siddon look approach is best till Nigerians come to terms with the change but they underestimate the people who voted them into power and the strength of a united nation. Even the Muslims and Christians in the North were admirably prepared to lay aside their differences for a common cause.

Many voted Jonathan into power hoping he would be a breath of fresh air but for some reason his every move has let them down and left us in the arms of despair. When I look at him, I do not see a wicked man, I see a weak man whose lack of character has prevented him from doing the good which he knows he is to do. Maybe the lure of a good life allows him the luxury of casting a blind eye to the sufferings of his people after all as far as he is concerned, he had no shoes as a kid and levels don change now. Maybe he has a grand master plan that will in years from now give the handful of survivors left in Nigeria a chance at a better life but would he kill millions now so that one day the remnants can praise him? Or could it be that his good intentions are thwarted each time by the political godfathers he answers to?

Nigerians do not need a figure head president. We do not need a president who will run off to his little corner of heaven while his people face hell. He has incited his people and he will be made to answer for his negligence and insensitivity. Nigerians will not stop till they have a chance at a life not worse than yesterday’s. May God help our president because it is better to fall into the hand of God than the hands of men for God is merciful. If he knew anything about history and repercussions he would have damned his advisers and done that which is in his heart for I truly believe that deep down he feels for his people but his hands have been tied and allowed to waste away by the powers that be. There are other ways to better the economic situation of Nigeria and 1600 buses is laughable. The ceremony for the buses probably cost more than the buses. Will more buses bring down the cost of food or other living expenses? Nigerians say No!!!

The strike continues…

Nigerians please let it remain a peaceful protest. Please occupy with one voice and without violence so that the government’s folly can be apparent to all.

May the souls of Mustafa Muyideen and Ademola Aderinto rest in perfect peace and may their killers know no peace.

#OccupyNigeria

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Inspirational

 

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Out with the old, in with the new…2012…Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s a new day, a new month, a new dawn, new opportunities to seize, a chance to make amends, a time to move forward, a time to go back to the drawing board and make a fool-proof plan, a time to be thankful but not a time for new year resolutions! Common it’s 2012, the most anticipated year in the Hollywood box office! 😉 The most prophesied about year, heck there may not even be a 2013! You don’t need a bunch of cliché resolutions that give you a pseudo sense of purpose only for the period it takes for your brain to find a box in its attic to throw them into till the next year! I say out with the old, in with the new. We don’t need resolutions, enough resolving already. Only a mad man does the same thing every time and expects a different result. My dear friends what we need is a REVOLUTION!

Wikipedia says the word revolution is from the Latin revolutio which means “a turn around” and is defined as a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.
Aristotle described two types of political revolution:
1. Complete change from one constitution to another
2. Modification of an existing constitution.
Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration, and motivating ideology. Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions.

Charity begins at home so let’s start with a personal revolution.
Does your constitution need an overhaul? Do you need it modified or you need a total makeover? Maybe it’s high time you traded in your beetle for a bentley and you know I ain’t talking about cars. Here are some purposeful steps to a REVOLUTION in 2012!

Step 1 would be a full self- appraisal. Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you need to drop a few pounds? Do you need to change that one-nation hairstyle? Do you need to start using deodorant? Do you need to throw out your old clothes? Do you need to seek medical help for that ailment you’ve been trying hard to wish away? Do you need to take a long hard look at yourself and say ‘Hey this is me! I can’t change my big nose or buck teeth but as long as my chest rises and falls in respiration, I can be great and I won’t stop trying till I get what I want…’ Yeah, you get my drift but that’s not all…

For step 2 you’ll need to step away from the mirror and get a pen and paper and draw 2 columns and label them strengths and weaknesses. If you are narcissistic by nature you may need to get a friend with clear eyes to help you. Think of all the things your haters spat at you and the stuff your friends and family complain about. We all know our strengths cos we are proud of them but it takes a certain wisdom to admit to a weakness. Remember that though the bad stuff people say about you is not necessarily true, often times there is an atom of truth in it. You can spot a lie against you, so sift through the dirt and find what exactly hurt the most, most times it’s the truth!

For step 3, paper still in hand, describe the greatest man or woman you could ever dream of being. You could choose to be President of Nigeria, it’s your dream and it ain’t nobody’s business. In fact the more they laugh at you, the more they ginger the powers that be to force you towards greatness. Dream very very big! If your dream looks unattainable because of finances or a lack of the required academic qualifications, write down all the steps you’ll need to get there. For example, getting a masters or saving some cash and so on.

Step 4: Go back to your weaknesses and then write each one under the space where you described the influential person you want to be some day. Now imagine if your weaknesses were procrastination, excess alcohol and a temper and you hoped to be president one day. You may end up as a cross between Baba Sege and GEJ and worse cos you’d also have a drinking problem. You’d put off tackling Boko Haram till a ‘later’ day and you’d get angry if anyone opposed you and then go home to a case of champagne. Same you that spends a good part of every day bashing presidents. You can wake up now… 😉

Basically weaknesses are not such a big deal till you extrapolate them and include greatness in the algorithm. Some weaknesses are anti-greatness and if a fellow is smart he gets rid of them like a plague but for most of us, our weaknesses can be excused as they seem not that bad and not so worrisome in the scheme of their lives and we feel pious on the first of every year making long lists of things to change without even convincing ourselves why a change is necessary and how feasible it is. Revolutions are not born out of haste, resolutions are. This year I refused to call any of my plans resolutions lest I jinx ’em.

This 2012, love like you have never loved before.
Here are 12 ways to love your neighbours, fellow Nigerians and friends, even your enemies and they are excerpts from the first book of Corinthians, kinda makes you consider this thing called love!

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Fancy words huh? Let me make it plain. If you like, write poetry or the longest blackberry messages ever, or give a speech so long your throat gets dry and you can even give the speech in flawless French but if the people you are talking to do not feel the sincerity of your words or the love emanating from them then you might as well be making a bunch of noise or exhibiting ‘free madness’. (Government officials take note!). So this year, remember that talk is cheap and before you give us 21 reasons why we shouldn’t have a fuel subsidy anymore, remember the thousands who are gonna bite the dust of poverty a lot harder after you impose your will!
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. Holier than thou sisters and brothers who use religion as an excuse to be mean and discriminatory take note! And yes I am referring to Christians, Muslims and all in between!
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I GIVE MY BODY TO BE BURNED, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Ermmm Boko Haram take note!

…And this is what love should be…
4 Love endures
5 Love is kind
6 Love doesn’t envy
7 Love is not boastful or puffed up.
8 Love does not behave itself unseemly and doesn’t seek to have its own way.
9 Love is not easily provoked
10 Love thinks no evil and doesn’t rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the truth;
11 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
12 Love never fails.

This year let’s choose love over war, tolerance over anarchy, kindness over cruelty, peace over chaos and maybe we won’t have to walk around afraid that we are gonna be blown sky high by some faceless home-based terrorists.

Just getting home from church and the anti-bomb squad at my church was one in town! They left only one accessible entry/exit to the church premises and checked our cars- boots, under it, in it, over it for bombs with sophisticated gadgets then we were frisked like we were under arrest before being allowed to enter the church, ’twas quite exciting I tell you! 😉 And then there was a whole bunch of saintly vigilantes with torches on the look out all night! Thanks Bishop! Una do well! 🙂

I long for a Nigeria in 2012 where fuel subsidies are in place like the good old days, where Boko Haram magically disappears and people can walk around without fear, where GEJ shows us that he has got the spunk and wisdom of a true Niger Delta man and where PHCN behaves. Afraid to ask for more since Santa isn’t taking requests till the end of the year. Never stop praying for Nigeria, she’s all we’ve got.

Happy new year again peeps.
Love you plenty. Have a lovely first date with your hot new girl. 2012 is eager to please so let’s take advantage…xoxoxo 😉 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Inspirational

 

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