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.

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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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Are your eyes full of logs? Or love?

Je suis fatiguée. Oui. Yeah,  I’m tired. Or rather, “ayam tayad”, in local yarn. But I promised myself I’d write something and post today. Hmm, now what am I gon’ write about?

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Okay, let me just share this. I was browsing stories on Wattpad, and there was one titled The Seven Deadly Sins,  and as I read it, it hit me. All this while I didn’t see myself as possessing a deadly sin,  but here I was reading about sloth, and realising that I did stuff quite like that sometimes: lazying around all day when I should have been doing some writing or studying. (Yeah, I sha like book,  lol).

I had to do some reality check, and remind myself not to condemn people in my heart, especially when I was doing what they were guilty of. That’s not a love attitude, not at all. Thank God for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that helps us make the right decisions in life. Thank God for the gift of His love.

It’s funny how the specks are oh so visible in other people’s eyes when we look at them with our own eyes chock full of logs. 

You can read the Seven Deadly Sins on Wattpad here: http://w.tt/1oVptp2

Okay,  enough talk about sins. Virtues nko?

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You can just go ahead and study Galatians 5 for the fruits of the Spirit. Quite interesting, I must say. You can never go wrong with God’s Word and His Spirit.

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Till very soon, see ya.
One luv. 

The Danfo Files: Part One: Wetin dem write for bus

Hey hey hey!  I’m so super sorry I’ve  been MIA here on the blog…loads of stuff to get sorted out,  especially now that I’m in paid employment,  and not lounging at home.  (Gosh I miss those days…lol).

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How have you all been? I miss you guys,  especially my friends and family who keep asking me when I’ll start blogging again.  Here I am folks! ☺ Big shout out to Big Rio,  Grimchild (Dimitri) and Night Walker.  Love you guys to the moon and back.  😄

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… Okay, so I’ve been going to work, waking up pretty early, getting home late, and I’ve been in quite a lot of Danfo buses in dear ol’ LasGidi.

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And these  buses…long,  tall,  short,  wide, different shapes, one predominant colour: a shocking yellow so bright it leaves stars in your eyes the first time you see it in Lagos, numerous bright yellow buses clustered in the parks and on the roads in traffic jams,  fighting for space to move just a few metres.

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The stuff I see written on these buses kinda let you know what the driver of the bus is about. So I  decided to put up the ones I’ve seen so far.  I used to write them down, thinking I’d keep them for my novel I’m working on. But I’ll just put them up now and keep updating the descriptions and photos as I see them.  If you’ve see any others.,  please feel free to add them as you comment   thanks.

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It's not yellow, it's not even a danfo, but it's got an inscription. #SayNotoCrime

I’ll just go ahead and write down the ones I couldn’t take photos of. But trust me,  from now on I’ll be ready with my camera. Here goes :

“Fuck all those who think I can’t do without them”
(I saw this one on a keke marwa one evening on my way home. Interesting message from the keke driver. All concerned have been warned, lol.)

“Pls respect my office” (Yeah,  the driver’s danfo is his office ☺)

“No time for love” (Really? Okay ooo,  you no go marry?)

“VIP” (no be small vip,  lol)

“The Bible will keep U from sin,  or sin will keep “U” from the Bible” (nice ☺)

and the pics of funny stuff on buses list goes on….☺

Okay, it’s time for me to close from work,  and enter another danfo again on my way home…o wole ooo!

Update: so I got into a bus during the morning rush hour and saw this:
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I wonder what kind of experience he’s had with women to make him write that on his bus as a daily reminder. Oh well. Everyone has a story. I’m in the middle of one kain traffic that I don’t need this morning. Gotta get to work. Chai. Lagos…

And it’s another one:
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You probably wonder why I’m writing about danfo buses and the drivers. This is because I realized that a lot of times we just use these buses to get to our destinations, and we’re too busy to think of these people as actual human beings, and wonder about their lives and their stories. I have also seen a lot while riding in buses, and while I’m working towards not needing a danfo to move from point A to point B, it’s quite interesting what happens in the buses and parks sometimes. So here am I, telling my story. Bless.

Strength of a Woman: Thots from the Deep.

That's right...we do! :)

That’s right…we do! 🙂

I was studying God’s word this morning. I had started a new devotional plan, reading from Genesis 2. I realised that God had created every animal male and female. But he only created man first: male. Why? Then the Holy Spirit ministered to me: God wanted Adam, the man to WANT the woman. He wanted Adam to see the need for a help meet, a wife. God could have very easily created Adam and Eve at the same time. Adam would have woken to see a beautiful creature beside him that he didn’t know what to do with, that he wouldn’t know he needed. But God wanted Adam to SEE THE NEED for a helpmeet, a partner, a wife. That was the only way he would love and respect her.

Lesson One: to be a wife, you’ve got to be able to meet important needs in the fulfilment of the man’s vision. That goes without saying: the man’s got to have a vision…or else, both of you would just be drifting along any which way life takes you. You are a solution provider, a nurturer, a haven of peace and comfort for the king of your heart.

Lesson Two: don’t stay in a relationship where you’re not needed, where the man has no definite purpose, or you’ll be misused. Notice that when God created Adam, He first gave him something to do, a purpose for living. It was while Adam was fulfilling this purpose that he realised he needed a helpmeet. Now, babes, how can you meet a need if you’ve not been developing yourself according to God’s plan for your life? But thank God you are doing just that, aren’t you? Even if you’re not sure, the Holy Spirit is always there to guide you in the most important relationship ever, your relationship with your Creator and King.

He’s only just a prayer away.

One love.

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

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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.

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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)

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“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.”

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“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!”

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“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.”

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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…

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The Nigeria I see: Uncle Speed and Project27Africa

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He’s not your average uncle, at least not to me… 🙂 but to the rural school kids he’s their favourite kinda guy: the one who’ll give you sweets and treats every 5 minutes on the bus to funland, the one who’ll let you scream and shout and make all the noise your lungs can afford to let out, the one who’ll make sure you’re loaded with gifts to take back home at the end of a very exciting day. His goal: putting lasting smiles on the faces, hearts and memories of the young’uns whose educational experience consists of broken desks and noisy, crowded classrooms.

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Let the fun begin...

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Uncle Speed and the kids

Prince Olaiya Tolufashe, a.k.a. Uncle Speed is the founder and president of Project27Africa, a non-governmental organisation that does something special: opens a window to the world of fun and excitement that rural children usually do not have access to, either due to financial constraints or their location. And he does a very good job at that, I know, because I went with him on the 4th Project27Africa tour that took place on the 26th of December, 2013. The 27 children had loads of fun on the tour, all the way from Ansa-ur-deen Primary School, Ibowon-Epe, to Silverbird Galleria in Victoria Island and then the Adessa Ocean King Vessel at the Naval Dockyard.  

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Coming down the bridge...

As we drove to Victoria Island, the kids stopped at the pedestrian bridge before Admiralty Toll Plaza at Lekki just so they could know what it was like to cross a bridge like that.

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At the Galleria they were treated to a 15-minute 5D movie, where they not only saw the exciting images on the screen, but rocked, rolled and felt other sensations just as if they
were in the movie itself. We could hear screams coming from the not-so-brave ones who came out crying, while the “big boys” just came out feeling cool with themselves. From then on they took pictures outside and then went in to feed their eyes, it was window-shopping galore as these kids had never seen anything quite like it. There was a mini-party going on inside, and they joined in with other kids as Tang juice, Cadbury beverages and sweets were distributed in merriment.  

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Waiting to board the Adessa

Next stop was the ocean vessel, The Adessa Ocean King. When we got to the Naval Dockyard it took a while for us to get clearance to board the ship, that was launched on the 1st of July, 2013. While waiting the kids gazed up in wonder at the sheer size of the vessel and how it bobbed up and down on the water. So by the time they got on board their curiosity was at its peak and they were all ears as Captain Taiwo Akinjide and other crew members showed the kids round and explained different aspects of the ship’s operations in places like the bridge, mess, kitchen and heliport. The kids got their sea legs after a while and even got to dance after being treated to snacks in the mess. It was a great day and the kids were so happy as they went back home.

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The Captain shows them how it's done

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In the mess, lounging...

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Boogie time!

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Getting back home, the parents were quite happy seeing that their children had fun on their trip, and they thanked Project27Africa and all the Angels who donated lots of gifts such as School Bags, New Sandals, Socks, Exercise Books, Pencils, Umbrellas, Mathematical Sets, Pens, Drawing Books, Crayons, Toothpastes, Toothbrushes, Toys, etc.
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Special thanks go out to all the angels who donated gifts, and to all the volunteers who came on tour: Tosin, Becca, Obinna and of course Dozie, who helped make it easy for permission to be granted by the school in such a short time.

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Uncle Speed with the staff of AUD Primary School

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Now that’s the Nigeria I see; a Nigeria where one man’s passion brings smiles to the faces of children who can’t pay him back, where people willingly give of their time and resources so that other people have something to smile about. For further information about Project27Africa and how your gift can put a smile on the faces of these rural children, please contact Uncle Speed on Twitter or go to The Project27Africa site. You could also send an email to speed@project27africa.org,  or call +234 703 840 6465. Let’s all do our bit to make the world a better place…one love!

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Post 1, 2014

Okay, this happens to be my first post of the year, so before I go further…I hope you had an amazing Christmas and an absolutely wonderful New Year. Right now I’m on my way back to civilisation as far as 3.5G connection is concerned :).

Lemme tell you what happened over the hols. If you’re in good ole Naija, shey you know say Christmas no dey complete without chicken? So in the spirit of Christmas, a live fowl came to stay in the house by means of Christmas bonus at work. Our new visitor came early, so it had like 5 days to go before being summarily executed. We tried to make it as comfortable as possible by providing food, shelter and water, but it looked like Mr. Chicken knew his fate, because he seemed sad to me. 😦 He didn’t seem to want any company, not even the children’s, and he would just peck quietly around the house. Did I even hear him crow at dawn? I don’t think so. That’s how it went, until 2 days to Christmas, Mr. Chicken slumped and died in a part of the compound where we would be sure to see him. I was the first to find him dead. I felt sad for him, even though I was looking forward to eating chicken gizzard. Everyone did feel sad, though our reasons varied. We did give Mr. Chicken a decent burial though, and went ahead to buy a carton of his cousins’ body parts frozen and brought in from far-away lands.

My conclusion: our chicken guy preferred to rather die than be eaten by humans…    

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Gabriel Metsu (1629-1669)
The Dead Cockerel

…Now that was one thing I found interesting during the hols. The second was the 3 year old yam that I saw still in the process of being harvested when I went with my uncle’s family to my hometown. My grandma had patiently waited for her son to come and remove it for her, pics after the cut…
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massive innit? 🙂

I’m sure you’ve got some more interesting stories of your own…share the fun as you comment to this post, it would be great to hear from you after such a long while *covers face*…one love! 

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