The Sound of Silence 

Silhouette of a woman on a beach, Sound of Silence, calm, quiet

It’s dark and quiet. The mosquitoes have paused their nightly feed on my skin. For just a moment. The darkness is warm, welcoming, devoid of fear and all the terrible things that they said would come when the darkness came to take its place over our land. 

The silence that comes with the darkness is anything but…

…silent.

I hear the colours of my mind whisper to one another, invoking memories and thoughts of aeons past as I lie awake waiting for sleep to pay me a visit. 

I sense the earth settle in, not to slumber but to repose, in stately atmosphere till dawn breaks again over this part of our land. Yet I wait for sleep to pay me a visit. 

I lie still, and the movements of the wind and far-away engines come to me in quiet calm. Sleep must be out and about somewhere else. 

The darkness remains warm, but the heat in this room is getting hot. I get up and pour the white blessing over my face, neck and back. Any body seeing this white face of mine shine through this darkness would remember the ‘ojujus’ of yesteryears. I sit still and the sound of silence draws closer. The white blessing works its magic. The heat is now cool. Sleep went on a vacation. 

I pick up my phone and type this post. 

Sleep will probably come later. 

See you in the morning. 

#onelove #grateful #forlife 🙏

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Have you read the papers?

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“Have you read the papers, do you hear what they say?”

That’s the first line of Cobhams Asuquo’s single title “I still choose to worship You”.

This song has been in my head for some days now. I’ve been singing it in bits, until I couldn’t put I off any longer. Now I’m watching Cobhams Asuquo on Shazam as he renders this worship song that is truly “not your normal worship song”.

The lyrics are not your normal worship lyrics, neither is the sound. Especially in this video, where Cobhams’ raspy voice (here in this video) underscores the emotional pain of the series of bad news in the first verse.

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Now what is there to learn? God is God anyway. So still choose to worship Him, in spite of all that is not ‘seemingly okay’…especially when all seems not okay. When all else may be topsy-turvy and it looks like help is nowhere in sight, there’s always something to do, and that is to lose your ‘self’ in worship and find yourself in God.

Lift up your voice…release the sweet-smelling savour of worship…and bless the Lord…for the gift of His Son and the grace to fight the battles you may be facing.

Bless ye the Lord…

One love.

The Danfo Files: The old woman

Okay,  so I got down from a bus at my stop along the expressway this evening. An elderly woman got down before me. I noticed how stooped she was. The hair on her head had turned white,  a white that showed the toil of her life. She asked me, in a strong voice that belied her age, if this was actually the bus stop that had been called out. It was obvious she wasn’t seeing very clearly. With determined steps she crossed the road and walked ahead to where she’d get a tricycle to her house. I slowed my pace and kept watching her walk by. I wondered where she had gone to that day, where she was coming from. Did she just go out to see a friend? Did she go to church? Did she go to work? No matter where she went, no woman of that age should be on the road in a bus, the kind that never waits for passengers to get down properly, the kind that rumbles on like its sole purpose was to make the bones in our bodies rattle to no end. I felt sorrow that this woman had to go through the stress of commuting by bus on the crazy roads of Lagos, and I wondered about her family. Did she have any children? Was there a car and driver available for her? It didn’t look like it, but I was hopeful for her sake, hopefully that this journey she undertook today was not an everyday thing, hoping she had the small comforts of life waiting for her at home and with family, hoping that she wasn’t also a part of the rat race that has got a lot of us young people in a tight grip in this weird kaleidoscope of a city called Lagos.

I wrote that short story because for every single person we see in the streets, there’s a story that may or may not be pleasant to hear, there are things we take for granted that mean a whole lot to people out there. I wrote that short story so that we could remember, in the crazy busy network of our lives, to stop, look around for a minute, see with our hearts the people around us and their stories, and do three things: 1. Count our blessings, every single teeny-weeny one of them. 2. Redeem the time and ensure we build a solid foundation for our children and ourselves in our old age. 3. Touch lives, in any little or big way we can.

Why search for happiness?

Deep calleth unto the deep… Found this post written by a beautiful mind. Enjoy and please go to her blog for the rest of ’em. One love. Peace.

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The old saying goes thus; ‘you never know what you have till you lose it.’ Many times we find ourselves chasing shadows and hoping to find substance in these shadows. We are too afraid to stop and smell the roses, because we have told ourselves that if we settle we would never get to where we want to. We say that we just want happiness, if only we had something extra. This has led to the search for the non-existent fairy tale world of happiness. So we once again say to ourselves and anyone else around; ‘If only I was married’, ‘If only I had a car’, ‘Oh what I’ll give for some extra cash’. So we desperately delve into things, longing to satisfy our seemingly insatiable selves. ‘By hook or by crook’ we say, not caring the outcome of these choices we make.
We enter into relationships seeking to…

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The Danfo Files: Experience

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Courtesy: okojieokhai.blogspot.com

Hi folks. How you been? I have been busy with work, but haven’t forgotten you, not one bit. I’m on my way to work this morning, and I thought to post this one. I call it the Experience. And no we ain’t doing no praise and worship, lol. It’s just common things you’d get to see while using the public transport system common to Lagos and Nigeria in general. The things I see, Lawdhuvmurrrcy! So until I get my car, I’ll keep letting you in on how you have not had the Danfo experience until you have:

1. Asked for a ‘waina’ (winder) to wind up the window when it rains.

2. Inhaled the conductor’s aromatic offering from his gloriously (I use this word liberally) unwashed corpus. (I hope speaking ‘crankum crinkum’ helps to make this part a lot more pleasant to read. Hmmmmmmmm…)

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Courtesy: osundefender.org

3. Replied “owa!” and “oun bole!” when you hear your bus stop.

4. Witnessed agberos fighting at the park.

5. Been squashed between two individuals who collectively take up the bulk of space. At this point you do not have weight. You cannot occupy space. You are the thin slice of cabbage in a hefty beef burger.

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Courtesy: engineer-ng.net

6. Stood in a bus, those white ones that are a newer generation from the original ‘molues’ of those days. Those ones that look like BRTs, but are white. 

7. Forgotten your change with the bus conductor. Free cash for the guy. Ooshey!

8. Been delayed when the bus breaks down or runs out of fuel.

9. Been shunted from one bus to another just because the driver has changed his mind about getting to the previously agreed destination. Nkem Owoh, sorry, this time agreement is not agreement.

10. Been able to recognise two or three of the drug peddlers or preachers who ply the same route as you.

There we have ’em, ten of them. Please feel free to add more in the comments section. See you later. Oya conductor, oun bole ooo!

It’s all good, really.

Hey! It’s already February! I can’t believe I’ve been away from this blog for more than a month already…whew. Yours truly hasn’t been idle though. What with juggling a demanding but fun job that involves doing something other people would think is boring (editing: boring innit? Lol) and writing song reviews on my other site ThaPlaylist, I’ve hardly had any time on my hands. But all that’s set to change pretty soon,  yeah.

Soooo,  Happy New Year. ☺
How’ve YOU been? I hope it’s been going on well…I trust that in the midst of all that’s been happening (election buzz and campaigns in good ole Naija for example), you’re able to get it all together and bring your energies to  achieving the best: in whatever situation you find yourself. New Year resolutions or not, we all wanna do better and be better every new year. And there ain’t no better way to achieving it than actually getting it done. I really don’t want to talk much right now…just doing a quick checking-in to let you know I still got you on my mind. So there’s just a few things I’d like to say:

Look for the good in things. There’s always something good.

God is good. He made us,  so we are attuned to good things, not so? And in the Bible we are encouraged to give thanks in every situation, so there  must be something good to see in every situation. (Ephesians 5:20, Hebrews 13:15, 1 Timothy 2:1)

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Allow yourself to be inspired.

First and foremost,  by God’s Word and through His Spirit. See the world through His eyes. People will only teach you so far as they know. Don’t relegate studying God’s Word to the background while you pay attention to other things.

JUST DO IT.

Write the vision,  make it plain (Habbakuk 2:2), then take necessary action to achieve your dreams. God will bless the work of your hands(Deuteronomy 14:29)

If there’s any one thing you take from this post,  please let it be that you go study your Bible…I’m learning,  with the help of the Holy Spirit, and so are you.

Cheers, one love.

The Danfo Files: Interior Decor

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I just had to use this pic, super colourful! Courtesy gongnews.net from Senegal.

The first thing I saw when I got into the bus was the two big teddy bears placed in between the driver’s seat and the front passenger’s seat. As I settled into the seat, I started noticing other decorative items: a big bag of plastic fruit hanging from the rear-view mirror, a small plastic cross hanging from the windscreen on the driver’s side from a key chain, an air freshener stick in the shape of a tee, hanging from the rear-view mirror, and painted in the stars and stripes of the United States of America. There was another air freshener on the dashboard, between a small stuffed chimpanzee and a white animal, who looked like a Lhasa apso. Directly in front of me, on the dashboard and hanging from the windscreen, was yet another air freshener hanging from a blue plastic mirror on the windscreen. Hanging on either side of the mirror were stuffed cloth cubes, the type you’d find in a toddler’s crib. One cube was a die, white with black dots. The other was multicoloured, and numbers were written under the dots, just like in a kindergarten book of numbers. A white rosary sticker could be seen on the windscreen, and another small plastic cross graced my corner of the windscreen. A key chain hung from the windscreen, a green touch in the shape of a foot.

To say the truth, the bus was full of stuff. But it made it seem comfortable, even homely, especially when he played the music. Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand came on, in that beautiful melody of theirs. As they sang “…love will be the gift you give yourself…”, I wondered if the driver agreed with them. Inscribed on the flip side of the shades/mirrors were the words: “Eyoo” and “No time for love”. Oh well, each to his own. The dude obviously had a taste for some finer things of life. In front of me on the dashboard was a pink box of soft 2ply tissue. 7 flags were lined up on the windscreen: from the furthermost corner, Barca FC, Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States of America, South Africa, a flag that looked like it was Spain’s and the last one, Israel.

Almost every inch of the windscreen and dashboard was decorated with something. Stuffed toys even hung from the roof. The window on the passenger seat was not left out. There was a “VIP” sticker on the side, and a Mickey Mouse Screen covered three-quarters of the window.
I was sorry to get down from the bus that day, but I had to do so and face the cold and rain that waited for me outside the cosy haven that someone called a home.

The Danfo Files: The Fight (a poem)

Glistening sweat on bare backs,
pushing and shoving
as the the BO reaches an all-time high in that dense mass of tangled legs,
arms and other unnamed objects.

Then the separation.
Another twist and tango
of arms and legs,
As the good-hearted
suffer the punishment
Of squeezes, bumps,
knocks and scrapes.
They fight,
to stop the fight.

The shouting continues,
The name calling:
Of generations unborn.
Of generations come and gone.
The rage unleashed,
Faces contorted in animal-like masks of raw anger,
Nostrils flared unending,
the air is rife
with insults and curses
As the sons of men
sow seeds of illwill
and hearts plot revenge.

The fighters are exhausted.
Passengers sit aloof and watch,
Passers-by walk on by.
Life is a nonstop movie.

Survival of the fittest? No, not here.

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On my way to work one morning, something happened that made me shake my head at the general attitude we have as a society and a nation. I got to the bus stop as two fully loaded minivans drove off. There were no other vehicles available, so I had to wait. At the bus stop a group of school children sat on a bench waiting for the next minivan. I sat with them and waited. Soon other people joined us, adults on their way to work like I was.

The first van came into sight, but was rushed while it was still on the opposite of the road. The driver only turned to pay the bus stop official and then he drove off with his minivan full of adult passengers.

The second one came by,  and was still turning to get to us when men rushed the minivan from all directions, pushing over themselves to get in. The school children had tried to get in, but they were no match for the men on a mission: enter or be pushed. I was still sitting at the bench some distance away,  wondering why it didn’t seem natural for adults to let the school children go first. What broke my heart was seeing a child, the littlest one, hit the van on the driver’s side with her tiny fists, wondering why the men pushed them away. The bigger children had to hold her away from the van that was about to move. The reaction from the driver and the other men in the van was a bit confusing to me: they smiled affectionately to the children. Seriously?

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How many of us really live like this?

It was at that point that I started to mentally shake my head at this non-chalant attitude from the adults. Even if the passengers were blind to the fact that children needed to get in and couldn’t push and struggle with them, the driver could have stopped the men from entering and told the children to get in first. But they preferred to do a “survival of the fittest” rush and then smile condescending at the helpless children. 

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Did those men ever think like this?

The children were finally able to get into the next vehicle that came, in spite of some adults who still wanted to rush in. At this point I had to speak up. I knew I was kinda ranting, but at this point I just didn’t care. While still trying to keep my cool,  I just made a statement about adults who would rather rush for space with  school children than wait for them to get into the vehicle first. As the van drove of,  another one came in and I got in.  I brought out my phone and started to type this post. This incident got to me. This just goes to show how callous we have let ourselves become as adults. If we can’t care for our future generation now that they need the help, now that we can do something, however little it may seem, to make life easier for them, what do we think they’ll become when they grow,  when they have become hardened and gone past all feeling? It is easy for incidents like this to be ingrained in a child’s memory,  and for part of his/her mindset about people. I pray these children don’t grow thinking that every adult is selfish. I pray they don’t turn out as selfish as the men I saw that morning. Just saying.

Late night

Hey,  how have you been? Here I am,  lying on my bed by 10:57pm, bone tired,  but not brain tired. My thoughts are busy at work,  dreaming up the kind of life I want to have and what I should do to get it, while my body screams “Sleep!”. It’s a battle to ignore one and face the other. Guess this time around blogging won.
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Just wanna say this though: Keep the Dream alive. In spite of how much energy and time your day job takes,  strive to do something everyday that gets you closer to your goal, even if it’s an inch closer.  Trust me,  that inch is better than nothing. Little drops of water,  remember? As I write this I’m reminding myself of my need to improve in being consistent in my actions.
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So there goes folks,  just a quick reminder to keep at it, keep working on your success and personal development, especially with God’s Word, it’s your manual for life. As you study and put what you learnt to practice, God will definitely reward your labour of love (Hebrews 6:10) and bless you with abundance.  Cheers.
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