NO.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

It’s just a two-letter word.

Why then does it seem so hard to say?

There are tons of people who will come for you when you say NO…

1. Your parents and, if you’re African your entire extended family, for starters. After feeding you, taking care of you, sending you to school, sacrificing for you, and then you refuse to join the family business, a business that paid for everything you are enjoying.

“I gave birth to you, therefore I own you!” – Enraged Father
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Ungrateful Child that you are!

And so you bend to their will.

You just couldn’t say NO.

2. Society demands that you marry at a certain age, so it becomes a rush to get “hooked” before 30. So when Tom, Dick and Harry’s worse-off cousin named Trouble comes along you fall into his arms and say, “Yes I know his name is Trouble, but his own is actually Gentle Trouble, not Real Trouble.”

You were not love-struck, darling.

You were pressured…by society, by seemingly “well-meaning friends” who don’t know any better, by your family members who keep sending your number to random dudes that you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

And then, like a moth to a flame, you fly to close and you get burned.

Mr Gentle Trouble marries you and changes his name to Mr. Everyday Wahala.

You lose your self-esteem, your sense of purpose and nearly lose your face in a torrent of verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

Something you could have avoided, sister me.

If you had only said NO.

3. Get a job, get a job. See now, your mates are working in oil companies and earning six figures, what are you doing here pressing phone and laptop? Other people who are even pressing laptop like you are making money. I don’t even know for this your own sef.

God, when?

Then you succumb to the pressure and disdain. You get a job, any job, just to have that ‘respect’ of having a job and living the way everybody expects you to live.

I understand.

You stick to the job, hating yourself and hating every minute of it.

You have tried to kill the dream.

Everyone says it’s foolish.

“You’re only building castles in the air.”
“You better wake up and face reality.”

You have tried to do what the world tells you to do with your life: Get a job, work and forget about your dreams. They are not valid in this part of the world.

But just like God did with Jonah and that missions trip to Nineveh, your goals and dreams refuse to keep calm. Like the waves that battered the ship that was taking Jonah to a different destination, they continue to batter your spirit and then you finally realised you should have said NO to all those who were saying NO to your dreams.

It wasn’t even their dream in the first place.

I could go on and on, but you get the drift.

“To thine own self be true, and it will follow as the night the day…”

Shakespeare

This quote from a Shakespearean play has stuck with me since my years in secondary school and even though I have not always been true to myself, even though I have played the chameleon a lot of times (and I bear my scars)…this has always been the direction: be true to yourself.

Say NO to everything that’s contrary.

So now you see why NO can seem like such a heavy word to say?

However, you still have to find that inner strength to say it.

It will do you a world of good.

Cheers. Live your true life.

Ramblings.

I have just been diagnosed with a dual personality disorder. The doctor literally shouted his diagnosis at me across the living room, yes, that where I was, not in the hospital. You see, I receive a special home service that is priceless. 

Now I have been banished to the room, away from sight and sound. He said my presence infuriates him. I remember when I prayed to God and asked that if this being with this man wasn’t from Him (God), that He (God) should make my very presence irritating to this man, this doctor who has called me a liar, a bad woman, and a mental patient. 

I need therapy, he says. 

Writing is my therapy. 

You see, today’s outburst happened because he acted on something I said the previous night. He heard the words that came out of my lying mouth and took a decision about me without asking me if that as what I wanted. Imagine my audacity, imagine the effrontery, to expect to be asked what I wanted. I am still building castles in the air. I better go and cook and then be castigated for cooking. 

We are both suffering a loss, but I know he feels the pain more than I do. I mean, he has known her all his life, I only just came into the scene barely two years ago. I still feel like a stranger here…and I don’t know when this feeling will stop, or if “here” is where I am supposed to be. 

I am losing myself. 

I want to disappear to a new country, maybe change my identity, work in a coffee shop and make a modest living…look at me building more skyscrapers in the air. 

Maybe I really have a dual personality disorder. 

Or maybe I’m just weird. 

Or maybe I’m a selfish, self-centred being who doesn’t think before talking. or typing. or even breathing…since my breathing the same air with him is a problem. 

And all I wanted to do was to be there for him through his loss. 

And now I’ve failed at that, just like I fail at every single thing he has expected me to do. 

Let me tell you the story of this failure. 

It started on our wedding night. That was the first night he shouted at me. Why? Because I was overwhelmed by the constant activity with people and the party that was going to happen at his father’s house after the main reception. Because I was tired and I cried. Till now I wonder, what was I supposed to have done? Soldiered on while I died inside? 

The Bible says, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Pls Google the exact Bible passage it comes from, I don’t have strength, thank you.)     

I am trying to guard my heart, but this s$&# is hard.

Lord, I need your help.  

The Nigeria I See: Lumide’s #NigeriaisBeautiful Twitter campaign

image

I was on Twitter one beautiful day and a lovely picture popped up on my timeline. It was a pretty sight of a very familiar place: Lagos. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought beautiful places like this didn’t exist in good ole Naija. But they do. Which brings me to why I’m posting this (sincere apologies for the long hiatus…national service is over and done with…hallelujah 🙂 ). The gentleman who tweeted the photo had started a #NigeriaisBeautiful campaign, tweeting beautiful pictures of the country we call home. I decided to feature him on “The Nigeria I See” articles because he saw a need for us to remind ourselves of the beauty in our country, in spite of all the violence and negative situations that abound. The pictures were screen-grabbed from his twitter account @iamLumide.

image

His full name is Ojikutu Olumide Opeyemi, and he’s based in Lagos, Nigeria. He runs a gas company called Paramount Gas, and his One Planet Foundation is in the works.
I got into a convo with him via Twitter and BBM, and he told me why he started to tweet these pics. Here’s what he had to say: (after the cut)

image

“Firstly, I LOVE my country. No matter what anybody says about Nigeria, I’m Nigerian and proud of it. Now, two things made me pioneer the #NigeriaIsBeautiful campaign.
             Few months ago Nigeria got extreme attention from the international community because of the actions of the Boko Haram militants and this gave the world an extremely bad impression about Nigeria! When in reality Nigeria is an extremely wonderful country and despite our domestic problems I believe we are still far better than most African countries and arguably all.”

image

“An average Nigerian believes that any other country is better than Nigeria. This is not true. Most of the people who verbally run down this country are mainly uninformed, educated illiterates blinded by negativity. They have chosen to only see the negative parts even if a positive thing is right in front of them. This is what made me start the #NigeriaisBeautiful campaign! I don’t want someone who doesn’t even see the good in himself not to talk of the good in the country to corrupt innocent and positive minds.
Nigeria is changing, it’s growing! Things are becoming so much better, we recently have leaders who are at least making a change no matter how little, I’m not trying to be political but since the launch of the transformation agenda by President Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria has been improving! Even in Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola has changed and improved Lagos tremendously!”

image

image

“Nigerians need to understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, it takes time and patience. The sad thing is most Nigerians just believe they should sit at home and the government should put food on their table. A lot of us Nigerians just want 24/7 electricity overnight, some believe they should sit at home and the government should present an employment letter to them. But I feel things don’t work this way, the government doesn’t owe us “Everything”. This is why I started the #NigeriaIsBeautiful campaign, to showcase the beauty of Nigeria and its people! Show people the positive sides of Nigeria and to appreciate the work that some of the good leaders in Nigeria have done and are doing.”

image

image

Nigeria is indeed beautiful, blessed with wonderful natural and man-made creations…what’s there not to be grateful for? Yes I know there’s a lot of stuff to be worried about, what with the terrorist attacks and bombing…but while we pray for peace and stability, let’s at least be thankful for what we do have…enjoy the rest of the pics…one love…

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted from WordPress for Android

Story story…2

If you read my previous post and liked it, here’s another outrageous story birthed from the imagination of a five-year old girl. Children are really amazing! Why am I sharing this? So that we can learn to listen to them and understand them, not just bark instructions at them: “Don’t bounce the ball!” “Sit down quietly!” “Stop pushing that table!”

Kids know far more than they let on, I tell you. All that Nollywood gets to them, let’s not ignore that fact. And they haven’t developed the capacity to separate fantasy from reality, so there’s no impossible to them.
Okay, let’s go!

Story story….story.
What upon a time…time time. (Na so she take talk am o!)

The title of my story is the mother, the dog, and the step-mother (where’s the child?)

One day, the mother went out and left the dog in the house. Later the dog went out. The mother came back and did not see the dog. She started looking for the dog. Then thieves came to the house. She took a knife to kill the thieves (*surprised face*). After killing the thieves she pooked them (cooked) and threw them away (What?! At least the mother no chop them! *huge sigh). Then the step- mother came to the house. More thieves came to the house, plenty. They did not know that it was the dog that sent the thieves (Omo see intrigue and suspense!) The thieves were very many that the mother and the step-mother had to run away and leave the house for the thieves. So the thieves now lived in the house (do we say “happily ever after”?)

I had to ask what the moral lesson was. Guess the reply? It’s not good to have dogs? No! She said, and I quote, “It’s not good to pook (cook) thieves”…hmmm….

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Story story…

Date: 2nd April.
Time: 2:07am.
Location: Bed.
Action: Typing.
Mission: Blog post.

Yours truly had an interesting day with a young’un. You should know by now that I love kids. Yeah, they can be a whole load of noise and all that, but if you take out time and listen to what they say and watch them play, you’d understand them better and make looking after them easier for yourself, I tell you.

I was busy doing some stuff, and this cute darling was running around, creating hurricanes in his wake. I had to quickly think of what to do to keep him busy. So, my dear readers, I asked him to get his chair, come sit by me and tell me a story.

Come see story na! This one was titled the goat and the fish: here’s a brief retelling:

One day the goat went to the river and caught a fish. The fish begged the goat not to eat it, but the goat went ahead to cook the fish and ate it. Next morning the goat had to go to the hospital, and they had to open the goat’s tummy and they brought out two children (which I was later told were a tiger and a lion). The goat gave birth at age thirteen. Then she did her birthday and she was now fourteen years old. The goat grew to be a hundred years old, that’s when she became an adult. Then she died at the age of a thousand years. Her children died with her, she took them to heaven and then came back to her house and lived there.

And that is the end of the story.

Moral lesson: It’s not good to eat fish.

If you read the story up to this point: bravo! You can then imagine what it took me to concentrate and get all the details right. I had to keep asking questions like “So what did the goat now do?” “What happened after that?” Whew! All this just to keep him still! And you know the hardest part? Trying not to laugh in front of him! You need to have seen the seriousness on his face as he was inventing this story! But at least you can go ahead and laugh, ‘cos he sure ain’t seeing you! 🙂

Cheers!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

G is for… (tell me what it’s for when you comment :) )

I’ve been looking at this screen for quite sometime now, wondering what exactly to write. I finally put finger to keypad, I type, then erase, type again, and erase…again. So I decide to let you all know how I feel.

So how do I feel? Anybody wanna take a wild guess? Hungry? Yes, a bit, but at this time, I no fit chop o, don’t wanna put on weight, so I’m just gonna have to wait till morning. Tired? No, not in the least bit. Sleepy? For where! My eye jus dey shine! 🙂

It’s more than a feeling though, it’s a reality, or state of mind.
I’m thankful,
joyously grateful to God for such a beautiful life,
For the Holy Spirit who’s my personal life trainer…I’m extra-grateful…
for the truth of His Word by which I live my life,
for the wonderful friends He’s brought in my life and who’ve agreed to stay, for the family who’ve stood by me every step of the way,
For my experiences and testimonies,
For the joy and the grace, for the strength to run the race.

I’m grateful…for the world we live in…the air, the food, the water, the trees
The inventors who’ve made life easier and much more fun…
Grateful for things like fashion, and cars, and phones, and the internet
…Grateful for sight, hearing, strong legs…grateful for health, divine, disease-free health.

In everything give thanks, so says God’s Word. I just did…what about you?

And of course, to the one reading this blog, I’m grateful for YOU! *hugs*

One love y’all!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

A for Adobe: the digital alphabet

If you read my last post, I’m pleased to announce to you that I’ve stopped vexing. 🙂 #teamH.A.P.P.Y all the way y’all…

Do you remember how you learnt the alphabet in nursery school? For me it was “A for apple, B for ball…”
I saw a post on Facebook today about how the children of the next generation will start learning the alphabet like this: “A for Adobe, B for Bluetooth…” Funny, innit? But truth is, times are different now. Question is, are we changing with the times?

Robert Kiyosaki, in his book: Retire Young, Retire Rich, explained how some people lived in a particular context and refused to be in sync with the times. These people never succeeded financially, because you needed to look into the future through the eyes of the youth in order to make the right decisions in business.

Sadly there are actually some people who are still doing things as it was in the beginning. These people shun social media and technology as a whole, or they cling to the fringes, owning an email account and never actually using it. They are the ones who are quick to point out all the disadvantages and dangers of the internet and all what not. Of course there are demerits to information technology, one of them being identity theft. But nothing comes without its own measure of risk. Even love. Now I’m digressing 🙂 While some folks are busy crying foul like Chicken Little, saying the sky is falling, others have quickly moved in and cashed into the various opportunities that have come with this age.

Back to school and learning. This time it’s in primary school. In my day, we used to sing one song after assembly, as we marched into our classrooms: *singing*
“Parents listen to your children/ we are the leaders of tomorrow…”
The leaders are all grown, and tomorrow is now today. Let’s get ready, alphabet learning in schools coul soon sound this way: “A for Adobe, B for Bluetooth, C for Chat, D for download, E for Email, F for Facebook, G for Google, H for hotmail…” 😀

Cheers y’all, one love…

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

It’s my life!!!

Hi.
Sometimes being a good girl is not always good…
People tend to think they can tell you what to do…
And how to do what to do…
And when to do what to do…
Mtschew!
Anger fuels every keystroke in this poem…

Do you think I don’t have a right to be angry?
Abi na because you see me here?

I have my life to live.
You have yours.
Don’t try to live mine.

Sometimes it all seems so hypocritical
I’m nobody’s fool
Open your eyes
see me for who I am

I’ve found my voice
I’m living my life.

I ain’t no sacrificial lamb.
I ain’t your toy or doll.
I have a vision,
I have dreams.

I don’t need to ask your permission to live my dreams.
Say I dey respect you no mean say you go carry me play…wetin sef?!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

To write or not to write?

I have been looking at this page for quite some time now, thinking of what to write to you, my highly esteemed reader. No, it’s not a case of writer’s block. I have a lot of things to talk about, especially about what has happened to me these past weeks (wonderful things, I tell you!) It’s more like a case of “writer’s being too sensitive about what he/she writes, especially about him/herself.”

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, (or do I say self-analysis); like I’m seeing a therapist in my head, only in this case I’m both therapist and patient.

On one hand I want to talk about the little day to day things, and all the wonderful things that have been happening in my life. On the other hand I feel I’ll be making it look like I’m writing all about me.
You see, a writer always bares a bit of him/herself in writing. And for me, that’s a very sensitive place to be in; probably because I wonder what people would think of what I wrote, would they like it or not? Would it look like I’m blowing my own trumpet?
But this itch is like fire shut up in my bones (I still don’t know if it’s Elijah or Jeremiah or Isaiah who said that: note to self: Chymdii ‘study’ your Bible!)

This writing bug has bitten me…bad. And I gotta scratch it with all I’ve got.
So get ready folks, my testimonies are on the way!!!

To everyone on my side of the Greenwich Meridian, goodnight. Mosquitoes are singing in my ear, I’m off to fight them joor!!!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.