Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Greener Pastures

Once there was a boy, who was crazy about toy bikes. On his seventh birthday, there was nothing he didnt do to make sure he got his wish, he helped his mum in the kitchen, he took out the garbage, did his home work without prompting, helped his father in keeping away the heavy tools he used for his carpentry trade. on the morning of his birthday, confident that he had 'paid his dues', he made his way out of his cupboard-like room to the living room to find his mum beaming holding a large, crudely wrapped gift. without further ado he grabbed the gift from his mother and opened it. The excitement died from his face and was replaced with anger, "dont you like it?" his concerned mother asked. the boy started at the used toy bike with holes and scratched paint and turned his face to his mother, 'I wanted a brand new one!" he wailed as tears coursed down his face. It was the worst day ever for the boy, not only was the toy bike scrap, it didnt have wheels and it couldnt move like he envisioned, he took the toy bike and hid it inside his tiny wardrobe where he would never set eyes on it again. Months went by and the house next to theirs was sold and a new family moved in. One morning, standing on tip toes by the picket fence that demarcated the homes, he spied a boy his age step out of the other house. The boy looked around, not finding anyone to play with went back into the house. Moments later, he came out with a big colorful toy bike with wheels! The boy gasped as he remembered again that this was exactly what he wanted and worked so hard for! He ran back into his house and had a good cry. Every day after school, the other boy rode his bike alone. Finally after several months, the other family invited the boy and his parents to sunday lunch, he couldnt contain his excitement! Finally, he thought, a chance to ride the other boy's bike and show his parents what he wanted in the first place. Church that sunday was so boring and so long as the boy practically willed the preacher to stop talking and round  up. Eventually church was over and they headed to their neighbour's home. They were met at the door by the other boy and his parents, when the introductions were over, they were invited into the living room and the other boy invited the boy to come to his room, "where is your bike?" he asked unable to contain his excitement, "right here" the other boy replied, "would you like a ride?" "yes!" he screamed as the other boy wheeled out the bike. The boy bend down for a closer look at his dream bike and discovered that the bike was old, with few holes, and the pedal was held in place by some copper wires! This wasn't the brand new bike he saw everyday, he thought as the other boy stood by proudly, "but its old and worn!" he exclaimed, "yup!" the other boy replied, "but my dad and I worked really hard to put it back together!" he said proudly. The boy could see that the tires were crudely cut out of rubber, he stared at the bike and the other boy's proud beaming face and it finally dawned on him! He could work to make his bike better too. Racing into the living room he went straight to his father, "dad, please can you help me fix my bike?" he asked, His father looked at him and said, "on one condition" he paused as the boy wondered what chores he had to do to pay for the fix, "we do it together!" the father declared, "YES!" the boy screamed as he ran out again to play with the other boy. The boy and his father had worked hard on his bike, in the end the father told him he will finish up and present the bike to him on Christmas morning. On Christmas day, he ran out again and went straight to the small Christmas tree they managed to decorate, underneath was a large gift, wrapped in nylon Christmas papers. the boy reached for it slowly, though he knew it was his old bike and he had worked on restoring it with his father, he didn't know what else his father had done to it. Carefully unwrapping the papers, he saw that his father had painted the bike, filled out the holes and smoothened the rubber tires they added, it looked like a brand new bike. he turned with tears in his eyes and saw his father waiting expectantly, rushing into his arms, he thanked his father repeatedly then turning to his mother, "I'm sorry mum, this is the best gift ever!" It was a very merry Christmas indeed! THE END
The problem with us humans is that we always think the grass is greener at the other side, we complain about our jobs, bitch about our environment while dreaming that somewhere or someone else's job is better than ours. Yesterday, after work, I had to get some gas for my car and there's been scarcity so I was on the queue for hours! Just when it was two cars away from getting to the pump, they stopped selling! My tank was empty, I got down and walked to the office and had to beg one of the attendants to just sell enough for me to get home. Eventually I was able to fill my tank and when I got home, I was so discouraged and tired, I was just murmuring to God about the state of our country when my younger sister entered. She was so happy to be home, she had to wrestle to get into a commercial bus just to get home! I realized that no matter how bad we think we have it, someone else is envying us and wishing they could be like us while we are busy looking else where and wishing we were there! And on and on it goes, but I want you to learn from the story, work with what you've got! Make it work for you! The grass isn't really greener on the other side, its probably just the same as yours. Ask God for help in working what you have and you will see how great that  job or wife or home or whatever it is you have you dont value becomes! When Moses met with God and God asked him, "what's that you've got in you hand?" You think if Moses knew that his staff could part the red sea or change into a serpent he would have replied so casually? Take a closer look at that thing again and I dare to ask you, "What's that you've got there?" God can use it!All you have to do is ASK!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

10 First Dates 2!

Date #5: He was my sister's account officer in one of the new generation banks, he was nice, polite and even a christian!(what more could a girl ask for, right?) After several calls, he invited me to church one Sunday  "to visit your future assembly" he said with a laugh, I laughed right along. So I had to tell my pastor, cos as a worker in my local church, he needed to excuse me. Before I left his office he prayed with me and said, "father open her eyes to see him the right way, let him display his true character to her" Shoo! which kind prayer be dat? the guy na christian nah! I said a reluctant amen and went on my merry way. Sunday dawned bright and clear, I took a taxi to Festac where the church was located and he met me at the door of the church, ever so courteous, he ushered me to my sit which was quite close to Faze, the famous singer! I tried not to trip so I don't rain on his parade. The service was awesome! And after service we went to one of the eateries for lunch (chips and chicken with a bottle of soft drink). Since he lived close by, he decided to show me his place. we walked over to the massive block of cramped flats. As usual, there was no electricity. The place was small and stuffy, so I took off my jacket (I was wearing this really nice off shoulder dry lace dress) the next thing I knew bros was trying to cop a feel!He probably saw my taking off my jacket as an invitation, I tried talking, e no work o! it was as if i was wrestling with an octopus, shoo! which kind wahala be this nah? So I did the only thing I knew how to do, I called big brother Jesus! I cant remember the words but just as I was done, NEPA brought back the light(Up NEPA and thank you Jesus!!) He got up to put on the AC and i jumped up and ran for the door, "what is it?" he asked puzzled, "I'm going home!" I announced as I headed for the stairs, he ran after me and hailed a cab asking if everything was okay, I no fit even talk! He paid the cab fare and that was that!Moooving on joor!!
Date #6: This happened a long time ago, I was still in my early twenties...
We(my nephews, niece and I) were sitting outside my sister's house, there was no electricity so we were shooting breeze when we saw this really clean Mercedes V-Boot approaching (since it was still in vogue then we were all admiring it) all of a sudden the car sputtered and died in front of us! the driver(seems he was also the owner) jumped down and looked around, he was wearing a turtle neck skin tight black Tee, his muscle bulged as he slammed the door angrily. He wiped his large forehead with a white handkerchief and stared at us. I turned to my nephews playing the good Samaritan and asked them to help him push his car. they grudgingly obliged. eventually I joined and we pushed till the car started, he was so grateful, "wow! I've never met any one like you, so down to earth!" he exclaimed, I gave him a toothy smile, "if you're not busy tomorrow can I check on you?" he asked after he had inquired whether I stayed around and I said yes. "okay" I replied with a shrug. The next afternoon, I saw his car pull up as I was waving to my neighbor's son. The next thing I knew, bros jump down from his car and slapped me! I tell you for like five seconds everything went black, then I saw tiny lights like stars before my vision cleared, "so this is how you will cheat on me?eh?" bros raged, "greeting every Tom, Dick and Harry in the neighborhood when I was slaving away buying you this expensive perfume?" He said thrusting a badly wrapped gift under my nose, I grabbed the gift and ran into my house shutting the door. When I told my sister what transpired, she went out and gave him a piece of her mind. So I got a designer perfume for a slap, na wa o!Try dat kind thing now eh, infact...
Date #7: This one I met at a shopping mall, in the bread aisle, when he said Hello, I had to look around to make sure there wasn't a baby around because his voice was so tiny! eyya, his voice never broke! I thought sympathetically as I shook his hand.(no be him fault joor!) We exchanged numbers and three weeks later we agreed to meet for lunch one Saturday. It was a posh restaurant in Victoria Island. We shared a taxi on our way back because we lived in the same axis. As usual traffic was heavy so we decided to stop somewhere for drinks.
And drink he did! The green bottles in front of him kept multiplying as I sucked down the malt I opted for. And as they increased bros got frisky, no be small thing o! the drunker he got(abeg forgive the grammer o) the more profanities he used and the more he blasphemed! All his jokes were focused on the Holy spirit! Shoo! As I finished my second bottle of Malt I told him I needed to go home, I no fit hear those things again o, God no go hear say na joke! We shared another taxi and parted ways in front of my estate gate, the next day he couldn't even remember any of it! We remained friends, because I'm still trying to get him to stop drinking so much, abi, wetin person for do?
Date # 8: This one wasn't even a date, but he was someone I fancied when I was still in the university...
We met at a church revival, he was one of those stylish spirito brothers,(you know a smooth blend of spiritualism and fine physical packaging!) So again, we exchanged numbers and kept in touch, one day he called and invited me to his church so I went. After church he bought doughnuts and soft drinks and we just sat down talking about the youths, God and Nigeria, it was quite an interesting afternoon.
By the time I got home, I was smiling and thinking of whether we will make a good couple or not. The first flash came that evening. My phone rang for the briefest moment and stopped. I checked the caller ID and it was my Stylish Spirito! I eyed the phone suspiciously refusing to believe he was flashing me, but it persisted so I called back.
"Em, hi!" he said, "please can you send me #1,000 recharge card? I really need to make an important call" For a moment I couldn't reply, "okay I will" I said as my brains tried to process it, was this a one-off thing? I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and sent the recharge to him, two days later, stylish spirito wanted to know if I was home, he was hungry and wanted some food(fried rice and chicken!) I hastily cooked the food and even borrowed money to buy a pack of juice.
He came, quaffed the food and drank all the juice and promptly left! By the same weekend he showed up again just when my younger sister and I were about to eat dinner(okra soup and fufu) We politely invited him and he joined us. We never take two swallows of food, stylish spirito don finish the fish and meat for our soup! Na so we come swallow fufu without obstacles for the soup, while he was busy picking his teeth. As he rose to go, he turned to me and said, "can I get T-fare from you?" That was it for me, I gave him #200 to take him home and away from my life, shikena!I be like ATM machine?
Date #9: This also happened when I was still in school...
One of my course mate's friends and I shared similar interest (Indian movies, books,chocolates...) Its only natural to plan to visit her in Lagos during the holidays. She mentioned that her elder brother just returned from Italy, he was a shoe trader in Onitsha. I greeted the swarthy looking man that walked in when we were having chocolates and tea respectfully. He tried to make polite conversation but I could tell he struggled with English. He also substituted his 'Rs' for 'Ls' and vice versa. I answered respectfully trying not to laugh. When I got home that night, my friend called, "my brother likes you o! he wants to see you tomorrow at ***(an eatery close to their house)" She came over the next day and we went to the venue together, when her brother showed up she excused us. We ordered snacks and ate, while he tried to carry a conversation in English, I finally pitied him and replied in Igbo, he was ecstatic! We conversed fluently in Igbo,  then he told me the reason he wanted to see me was to tell me that he wanted me to bear him a son.
He's been married for eight years, he said, but his wife, who lives in the UK was without an issue. I told him it went against my belief and he told me I will be handsomely rewarded, what if I bear a daughter? I asked, He shrugged his shoulders, "then I will give you half the money!" he replied, "but I will still make you my wife and you will live with me in Onitsha" I imagined myself a member of the OMATA traders' wives association, see levels,abi? "sir, you're married already, and I have no interest in being a second wife, thank you for your generous offer"
Guess who's not my friend anymore?Yup, his sister!And finally..
Date #10: We were in school together, always liked each other but didn't really do anything about it because we were both too young, so twelve years later when we met at a reunion we were both eager to see each other. He looked great and complimented me for getting more beautiful over the years. We went out once, to a high brow restaurant in Victoria Island, then he asked me to be his baby mama! Just like that,
"I see you have good moral upbringing and since I'm not planning to get married, we can just have kids together" he said in a cultured tone. That wasn't all o!
It came with conditions, to attain the enviable status of his baby mama, I was never to reveal who the father of my children is, the children themselves cannot know that he's their father.
I was to introduce him to them only as "Mummy's special friend" the moment anyone finds out that he fathered the children, he will cut all ties with me and stop supporting his children. Of course I thanked him and said, "No Deal!"
So I hope you've enjoyed yourself at my expense, I'm sure you know its your turn to tell stories of your one-time-only dates.
So, let's dish!

Monday, 15 October 2012

10 First Dates!

So you all know I'm single and while I have not seriously searched, I have kept my eyes open (shine your eyes!) and in the past I've been on some dates that were so terrible that it wasn't only the chemistry that wasn't there, the geography was off the map and the math was just not adding up (you know, 1+1 kept bringing 0!) Just from the first date, you know they wouldn't fly...
Well, I've compiled some of those dates I've been in over the years that didn't go anywhere and I'm sharing, you can laugh your head off, but by the tenth first date, you better be ready to dish as well!Lets see...
 Date #1: This happened a while back, the pre- Cynthia days when Social medias were not as dangerous as they are now...I watched this film producer/director's movie, it was quite interesting and he posed a question and encouraged comments on his webpage. So I left a comment and he replied and we started chatting from there. After months of chatting we finally exchanged numbers and I thought, not only did he sound intelligent, he had such a nice voice. so after several more months of talking on the phone, we decided to meet and since this were my pre-automobile days, we agreed to meet at the scenic park of the estate I lived then, it was public enough but also private enough for us to talk without interruption. 
It was a Saturday afternoon, he called to tell me he was at the gate of the estate, so I bummed a ride from my brother to the gate and called him.
He described his car and as I looked around the filling station by the estate gate, I could see a mechanic working under the hood of a car that matched his description, I asked if his car was being fixed and he said he was having some issues on his way,  "okay where are you?" I asked as I tried to rationalize that at least he had a car, abi? "across the road" he replied, I turned and looked across the highway, the only person I saw was a short black guy in cut-off Tees and a faded jeans, can this be the person I've been talking to? "what are you doing across the road?" I asked suspiciously, because the person I was staring at though had his back turned towards me was peeing by the roadside, "I, em, I'm easing myself" he said into the phone! yikes! I thought as I hurriedly cut the call and prayed he will not ask to shake hands, when he was finally done with his (sic) business, he jogged back across the road and I nodded at him, hands folded across my chest. We proceeded  to the park eventually but my mind wasn't in it anymore, after that date, I knew I wasn't seeing him again. Why you ask? After the Pee-fest on the road like an animal, he bought some snacks and ate it without washing his hands, enough said! Moving on!
Date #2: We were introduced by a mutual friend, he was tall, nice looking and had this really laid back attitude that was both endearing and unsettling at the same time. We arranged to go out the next day and since I was home from school(AAU, Ekpoma!yup!) we planned to meet early in the evening because I didn't know him enough to be out with him at night. I waited by my estate gate because I didn't want him to know my house and he came in an SUV, posh! I hopped in, put my seat belt on and he asked where I'd like to go, if I said to a restaurant, he will think I'm greedy, if I said to the movies we may end up spending more time than I wanted to, so I asked him to pick a place and with a smile he nodded and we were off! 
We ended up at Kuramo beach, don't quite like the beach (I know!everyone and their mothers think a romantic date is a walk by the beach but not me) it is just too sandy and wet for my liking, but I didn't want to spoil the moment so I smiled and tried to be enthusiastic.
He ordered Star and I ordered Soda, "you don't want something else?" he asked puzzled, "no, thank you!" I replied with a smile, "what about Gordon spark?" he asked again, I shook my head, "I don't take alcohol" He shook his head in disbelieve, "what of Smirnoff ice?" "um that's alcoholic too" I replied. Shrugging nonchalantly, he ordered suya (now you're talking!) and as we ate he fidgeted, "is something wrong, too spicy?" I asked pointing to the suya. He shook his head, "no, I want some rabbit" Rabbit? "I didn't know they sold rabbits here" I replied, he laughed and beckoned to one of the abokis selling sweets and cigarette on the beach. he whispered into his ears and the aboki dropped his wares and disappeared. I stopped eating, puzzled and sensing something was off. The aboki returned and palmed something to him. I saw him pay him and he brought out a small rectangular sheet of paper, my eyes almost popped out! Igbo
He rolled a Fela-worthy joint and lit up(shoo! na so I waka enter trouble?chai!) He even offered me the joint, shaking my head furiously I eased my chair back, "this is herbs, it aids digestion and doctors say it cures nausea in cancer patients" he said still holding it out, "my digestive system works fine, in fact my bowels are quite loose enough at the moment and I'm not recovering from any type cancer!" I snapped back.
 He nodded philosophically and continued smoking, no wonder he was so laid back, bros was stoned or always as high as a kite! I kept checking my wristwatch until he noticed, "you want to go? its not even 7pm yet" he complained, "ah you don't know my sister" I replied, "if I'm not home by 7pm she will lock me out" He smiled broadly, "then you can crash in my house!" I had to think fast, " I leave for school tomorrow, shey you will bucks me up?" the smile vanished and he picked up his half full glass and downed it. I sighed in relief as we headed back to the rowdy car park. 
By the time he got to my estate gate, I had promised Jehova that henceforth I will be in my best behavior, no lying, no missing Sunday service if I survive the ride back home. He drove like a bat out of hell. 
Immediately the car stopped I jumped down and waved happily to him with a smile, it was a goodbye forever smile
He called and called after that day and I never picked his calls, I think the message finally got to his drug fogged brain! Danburuba!(as my hausa peeps will say)
Date # 3 joor!: This one started out so promising,chai...
Okay I attended the End-of-the-year party of one of our Nollywood female stars, the place was packed and jumping. 
I sat primly at one corner sipping on chilled avian and watching celebrities gyrate on the dance floor, I saw him coming from the hallway, wearing a well cut tuxedo he had the bushy Ojukwu beard that looked really distinguished and artistic at the same time, I tagged him John Legend, because he sort of looked like him. He nodded to me and I nodded back as he walked by, shoo! why didn't he stop to say hello? I pondered as I took another sip of water. "what are you having?" I heard the voice from behind my left ear and choked, with burning throat and watery red eyes, I turned and saw it was my John Legend!Yay! "Water" I managed to say clearing my throat. "can I sit down?" he asked politely, o boy if you hear the phonetics eh! I nodded not trusting myself to speak, my tongue no fit stretch reach like that nah! He introduced himself (we will continue to call him John Legend) and said he was an architect and a fashion designer in New York! (for my mind I say, "Thank you Jesus!")we sha exchanged cards and at midnight like a certain fairy tale (no I didn't leave any shoe behind) as pre-arranged, my brother came to pick me up. He walked me to the car and held the door open for me and made me promise to call when I get home. 
As I dey reach house I checked my credits I only had #70.00 on my phone and it was too late to buy a recharge card so I called anyway, and as he picked I told him I was home and just as he was about to comment, the call was lost as my service provider displayed my account balance, #0.09! I hissed and dropped the phone, I was so loading up tomorrow and calling! Just as I was stepping out of the animal print dress I wore to the party, my phone started to ring, he called back!
We chatted well into the night and he promised to call the next day so we can go out, I readily agreed. And I waited, and waited and waited. 
Two weeks later I was washing my hair when the phone started to ring, I toweled my hair before reaching it, it stopped ringing. Just as I was checking the caller ID it started to ring again, John Legend! He apologized for not calling, he was down with malaria and cold, but he"s better now, sore throat gone, can we see? Yes, I answered enthusiastically  we absolutely can!He picked me up three hours later and we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner, it was super cool! 
We kept in touch and called regularly. After months of communication, several lunches(okay it wasn't just one date!) and hundreds of text messages later, we were picking baby names and planning how to visit his father in the east to be properly introduced to the family when he got a call to come back to the states. We promised to keep in touch and he left. After four emails and one phone message with no reply back, I decided to move on, it was too good to be true anyway...
It was June two months after the no-replies and I was attending an art/jewelry show in the same Italian restaurant we had gone on our first date (see why it features?) I was with two of my elder sisters and my nephew was our designated driver. We got to the venue  hours after the opening time and I was told to find out if the event was still holding. Pushing the large wooden door open, I headed upstairs and discovered the place was still bustling with Art and Fashion people alike. I was just about to turn and head back out to get my sisters when I saw the outline of the beard, John Legend! With racing heart and sweaty palms I hedged closer until I could see without being seen, it was him!
 I scurried downstairs and practically ran for the car, when I got in I told them the show was still on but I had no interest in going in anymore. My sisters knew me enough to know something was up, when I told them I saw John Legend they walked me back to the restaurant because they thought I should confront him, not my style. By the time we got back, he was in the presence of another lady, who seemed glued to his right arm. I approached him and he just went, "Hi Hellene!" as if we were just friends. I couldn't wait to leave the place, he eventually called to apologize(plenty talk talk!)  he isn't ready for a serious relationship, he can't do long distance relationship, hes a New Yorker...on and on, na so we see am for my American Dream, moving on!
Date #4: I took myself out for a movie(and that the only reason why this one featured!), and while I waited for my movie to start I walked around, window shopping. The guy was standing by a Toy Watch shop as I passed he straightened up and said hello. 
Since it will be rude and childish not to say hi back I said hello! (the whole sentence was said in heavy Yoruba accent, apologies my Yoruba peeps!) "My name is Wasiu, I(came out as Hii) lives at VI (coming out as Fii I!) "Good for you!" I replied as I threw myself into the elevator and vanished out of that place before you could say, 'Lapuchinetta!'
To be Continued....

Friday, 12 October 2012

Dare to be Different!!

So I wrote this piece for a youth magazine a long time ago, thought i should share it with you all! TGIF!!!

Have you ever had to learn a new slang, or worn an outfit that you were not even comfortable in, or drank alcohol in order to blend with the crowd, or go with the flow or just simply to belong? Well, we all have. Some of us more than the others, but we have had to do things, that we see others doing so we can “belong” or be among the “in” crowd. Being “cool” or “crested” is fine, as long as we still remember who we are in the midst of all the “blending in” we do.
For instance if you don’t talk with a foreign accent; American or British(faked most times)you’re not considered “cool”, if you don’t use slang like ”tight” or “wicked’ or ‘fresh” you’re considered old or not current. The problem with belonging or being current is that it scrapes away the very fragment of individuality or uniqueness that such an individual possesses, leaving a bland, boring person. The truth is that most of us have forgotten who we are or who we can become, we cannot be anyone except we are imitating someone else, and this is pathetic.
Every individual was divinely created with such distinct, quality and potentials to help humanity; the loss of this uniqueness may be the cause to most of our societal problems today, which we are so quick to blame on the government. Have you ever sat down to ask yourself why you were born? What purpose you will serve in this world and how? Trying to blend in and be like everyone else is not serving that purpose, I mean yes, we must try to be educated, obey the laws of the land and pay our taxes (I’m sure most people have NEVER paid taxes all their lives!) and utility bills, but how about inventing something that will help the society instead of just complaining like everybody else? How about speaking up, for the weak, taking a stand against exam malpractices, keeping your environment clean by not littering the streets with pack of the Gala and “pure” water you had for lunch, how about that? You don’t have to invent a light bulb(but if you can invent one that doesn’t use electricity or batteries, by all means DO!) or be the first in your community to fly an airplane to be different, start by being the first to graduate, or the first among your friends to say “no” to drugs, or the first to walk away from that cult war(it isn’t really worth it, really!) or the first to stop “blocking”(paying the lecturers to pass you, haba!) those courses you didn’t study for because you were busy partying…just do things different, start small; think differently by dreaming big for yourself, study harder, wear those shoes that are comfortable instead of the fashionable pair that you almost cannot walk in, learn to see things from other’s perspectives (except yours only!) and please, quit blaming the government for everything; from  the bad roads(which is partially their fault, no be lie!) to your failing grades, just dare to be different! 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Busy Being a Christian! (BBC)

The tasteless killing of the four UNIPORT students in Aluu community has left me feeling scared for Nigeria. I mean, these are the people I fondly refer to as my very own peeps! The warm hearted, ever cheerful, eager to help people that suddenly grew blood-thirsty on that fateful day.
At first like most of us do when faced with such atrocity, I shrugged and tried to ignore it, but I just couldn't. It took seeing the faces of those four boys to get through to me(I refused to watch the graphic video that chronicled their gruesome deaths!I just cant stomach such visuals!)
But when I saw a still picture of them walking naked to the community leader's home for judgement, I finally came undone. When, I pondered deep into the night, did Nigeria become so bad? where are the warm, kind-hearted people I thought we were? What exactly are the Christians (myself included!) doing about the state of our great nation?
Suddenly we have become spectators in our land, witnessing evils and mouthing platitudes that help us hurry along with our businesses.
Shouldn't we(as Christians) be the light of the world? If indeed there are as many Christians in Nigeria as there are churches to attend (and there are many, I know!) then why isn't Nigeria burning bright for God? Why isn't our land peaceful, or healed for that matter? Can there possibly be so much darkness if we (Christians) are as alive in Christ as we should be? I pondered these thoughts and the only deductions I made was that we (Christians in Nigeria) need to genuinely repent before our God, and humble ourselves, and turn from our wicked ways, so that our God can forgive us and our land (Nigeria) can be healed.
Now more than ever we need to seek God's face for our country. Our leaders have failed us, we have failed each other, but God will not fail this country!
Let us stop the attitude of acting busy just for show and really Do what God would want us to do; Love your neighbor as yourselves and Love the Lord your God with all your heart!
If we love God, we will not deface His creation, we will think twice before we mete out any kind of justice (was that really justice?) on each other, we will look before we leap.
And tragedies like the killing of those four students will not occur.
I appeal to all Christians, Nigerians, home and abroad, while you're acting Busy Being a Christian our land is slowly falling apart.
Let us be more than spectators, take five minutes (okay two minutes!) of your time every day for the next thirty days to pray for mercy for Nigeria and Nigerians and ask God to heal our land, this is too much!
The Violence must stop! Let your light shine, be the salt that you were created to be and manifest the manifold wisdom of our Creator, that His name may be glorified in us and through us.
Thank you for participating in the prayers for the four dead students and their families, May God have mercy on us and heal our lands in Jesus name, amen!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Cardboard Testimony

Hey Everyone! Hope your weekend was restful? Mine was anything but.
It was my younger sister's introduction and there was a million and one thing to do to prepare for the initial visitation from our soon to be in-laws.. it was awesome though!
We had an array of mouth watering dishes,cat fish pepper soup, peppered snails, fried rice, jollof rice, pounded yam with ewedu soup, efo riro and egusi soup prepared by all the women in the house!Yup!
By the time they were done eating, I'm sure they understood more, why their brother wanted to marry our little sweetheart. The whole event went so well and by eight pm in the night I was headed home, tired but very happy for my sweetheart. I decided to stay in on Sunday.
I had just settled in after making a quick pit (bathroom) stop in the wee hours of the morning when my younger brother Aflie called! I contemplated whether to ignore the call or answer.
Thankfully, the call was lost but he followed with a text message, persistent little bugger! I lay there trying to get back to sleep as my mind wondered what was so urgent.
I finally picked up the phone and opened the message, it read, "your movie is showing today in church so get your *** ass to church now!" I jumped out of bed as if i'd been stung, my movie was showing?!
Let me shed more light to the matter, I'm in the drama team in my church and earlier in the year, the pastor told us that he didn't want us doing stage presentations anymore, he wanted us to film five to ten minutes plays for screening in church on Sundays.
So finally last month, we shot our first feature which was written, produced and directed by me! I knew the only reason I was in church was to see people's reaction to our efforts and finally, after the offering and testimony, our short film was finally aired. it was phenomenal! I know it was technically not sound and most of the actors were untrained, but the message was passed and people appreciated it.
But Church took a turn for the better because the pastor's message was titled, "Thank You Jesus!" and to thank God, he had the ministers write what they used to be in the past before they got saved and how Jesus changed their lives, it was called the Cardboard Testimony because the words were written on cardboards held by each minister! it was awesome, watching all those well dressed people and seeing the conflicts, pain and struggle of their past. It reduced the whole church( okay I'm stretching the truth! not the whole church but me and some other people around me) to tears!
At the end of the day, my Cardboard Testimony, was my short film titled, "Captives of the Mighty"
Because though we are bound or imprisoned by our selfish ambitions, burning with anger toward those who hurt us, broken by our past mistakes, when the light of God is introduced to our situations, we are set free! Healed from pain, mended from hurt, made whole by His love and totally free from the darkness within!
What is your cardboard testimony? list all your former vices on one side, it doesn't matter how shameful they look after you write them down, just write! Then turn that page over and list all you have gained from knowing Jesus(if you indeed know Him) see what a huge difference your life has become? That's the state of grace! It is by God's grace that you have been saved, alive and well! Never take that for granted.
I love this verse of the bible that says, "although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall the fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" When all else fails, praise God, because the availability of Life means there's still hope and a chance to make things better!
(write your vices as comments here, and i promise to pray along with you about a change for the better, no matter how bad they are,write them anyway!)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Chicken Effect

My car had some issues over the weekend so its been fixed and i had to take a bus to work today. I almost forgot how tight those things are! We were jammed into rows of fives then as if that was not humiliating enough, they left the overhead light on throughout given the bus an eerie feel like a coop for day old chicks. The conductor and the fat lady on the second row kept us entertained with colorful diatribe from the conductor on how fat she was while she went at him from the religious angle. she first of all called him a demon, then she told him that if he was sent to her by the devil he should go back to hell.
I had to scream several times for my change to be heard.
Then the man on the fourth row probably felt left out so he joined in calling the conductor and the driver, "mumu!" he then threatened the conductor that if he's not stopped at his bus stop he was going to pour sand on his face, which drew laughter from everyone in the bus. The tension finally broke and we got to Obalende bus terminal on a happier note than when the journey began.
But really that's quintessential naija bus ride for you. its anything but uneventful. I got down and though i felt nostalgic, I couldn't help praying that I don't have to repeat the ride again tomorrow. Naija or no naija flavor, having a car is a necessity in Lagos! And i thank God for my own, in fact I prayed for mercy to God if by chance I had nagged about the long fuel queues or being stuck in traffic in an A-Ceed car when others where languishing inside the rickety buses. My point is THANK GOD! Because you're better than so many.
And you may not be where you want or ought to be, but youre so far from where you used to be!