Saturday, 23 January 2021

Eventually, They all Leave

 


I was thinking this morning..... I was chilling days ago when my phone rang. I picked it up and it was my dad. 'D'aba.' I greeted in Itsekiri. He responded and then said 'My friend, chief N.U. just died this morning.' 'Oh no!' I exclaimed and commiserated with him for the loss of his friend of over 40 years. My dad who is in his mid eighties has watched a number of his friends departed in the last one year, and I couldn’t help but reflect on how everyone we travel with in the journey of life eventually drops off.

We meet different passengers at different times in this journey of life. First, you find yourself in the same vehicle with your parents and siblings. There is so much love and joy in the vehicle, you will think you all will travel together forever. About 20 years down the line, as children become adults, everyone starts alighting to join another vehicle (start their families) towards their destination. You would have to continue the journey with other passengers.

Next, you joined the career vehicle and made new friends who continue the journey with you. You will be blessed to have a colleague like Florence Ekeocha, who we called Mama Flo. Friendly, loving and helpful. Why can't we just enjoy this camaraderie for 100 years? No. It doesn't work that way. We were hit hard last Friday, when we heard that Mama Flo had suddenly departed. 'But why?' We shouted in disbelief. 'Such is life' was the soft response. Others, 35 years later or when they turn 60, will have to retire. One by one, your pals that had turned brothers retire to settle in different cities and villages away from you. Life! Eventually, they all leave.

When you eventually retire to your country home, you make new friends among the retirees around and will be blessed to have some of your old friends from work retire with you in the same village or city. You thought this would be it, they will stay with you forever. But then, they start answering the eternal call. One by one, they depart.

Hmm! In this journey of life, there is most likely one passenger that will be with you most of the way. Your spouse. Many are blessed to marry early and stay married like Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who have been married for more than 70 years. Wow! The irony is that some make the mistake of investing their time and love on short term relationships at the expense of that which will last for 80 years (spouse), if Jesus tarries. But the biggest mistake will be to invest in relationships that will last a lifetime and ignore that which will last for eternity. Proverbs 18:24 'A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.'

Family, colleagues, friends, spouse and God: Invest in all relationships but do so in the right proportion based on their longevity because on the long run they will all depart except God.

Happy Sunday. Farewell Mama Flo!

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 16 January 2021

The Armed Forces Pigeon Mentality

 


I was thinking this morning..... Last Friday, during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony at the National Arcade, Abuja, the doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by President Muhammadu Buhari, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President. The President had opened the birdcage, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.


Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof. The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Do you blame the poor pigeons? They have been deprived for so long until recently when they had to prepare them for the Armed Forces Remembrance Day. Suddenly, they cared for them, fed them like never before. Now you want them to just fly away and miss out on all the enjoyment abi? 'We go nowhere. We die here,' I can imagine the birds saying.

But isn't that the mentality of a typical Nigerian politician? An unknown Nigerian with no pedigree having been beaten and battered joins politics and was lucky after so many years to become a senator or Minister. Suddenly, Nigerians say he has failed woefully and brought embarrassment to the government. 'Resign and fly,' we say. Resign ke? Usai! Like the Armed Forces Remembrance Day pigeons, they will say 'I go nowhere. I die here.'

This mentality seems to have infected the civil servants working with politicians. I heard of a Nigerian Head of Department (HOD) that has been on the same job for several years without promotion. One day, a new minister was appointed and saw the challenge of this HOD and decided to promote him to become a Permanent Secretary (PS). A great opportunity for the man to fly. Instead, to the chagrin of the Minister, the HOD declined the promotion. Investigation revealed that the benefits from backhand deals being enjoyed as HOD will be lost when he becomes PS. Therefore he behaved like the pigeons saying 'I go nowhere. I die here.'

I worry not whether those that trouble us refuse to move or fly away for us to have peace, one day they will fly away by force. Psalms 104:7 says 'At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.'

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey 

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Who is your Daddy?

 


I was thinking this morning...... about paternity fraud with the scandal involving FCMB MD dominating the social media discussions in the last couple of weeks. Paternity fraud is the pretence that a father is the legitimate and biological father of a child. According to information scooped from Wikipedia, Jamaica has the highest rate of paternity fraud in the world at 34.6%, closely followed by Nigeria with 30%. Omo, that means for every 10 children in Nigeria, 3 are not born of the man they call daddy or popsy. Hian!!!

As most people passed emotional judgement and declared the FCMB MD and the former employee guilty when they saw photos of the children in question, I was thinking about how widespread this paternity fraud is. Truth is, when a child has striking physical resemblance to a parent, there will be no need to ask 'who is your dad?' But when there are no physical features to tell who the dad is, they resort to DNA test. This scam no be today.

At the national level, when countries like Nigeria that claim to be born of established democratic nations like the UK and have democratic structures like USA, but suppress the will of the people through rigging and violence during elections, it is nothing but 'democratic paternity fraud.' But what do we call a father of democracy like the USA whose behaviour (Capitol insurrection) misses the mark? Father of Democracy Fraud? We used to ask, 'who Nigeria resemble?' Now we know.

At individual level, you claim to be a child of God but yet involved in shady deals and lie like a cheap rug. Abeg, na who be your papa? Behaving contrary to the God whose child you say you are is nothing but 'Divine Paternity Fraud.'

To me, physical attributes or DNA test are not the most important indicators of paternity. An adopted child that lives the values and the tenets of the father, is more of a child than a biological child that brings shame to the father. Doing the will of the father is the true evidence of sonship. No wonder 1st John 3:10 says 'By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil.'

As you walk through 2021, life will be asking 'who is your dad?'

Happy Sunday.

.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 2 January 2021

21 Gun Salute

 


I was thinking this morning.... In all my years on earth, I have never seen a year that everyone wished and prayed will roll by so quickly like 2020. It was so bad that so many Nigerians joined Australians in crossing over into 2021 ten hours ahead of West Africa Time (WAT). E shock you?


But will the knee of 2020 still be on our necks in 2021? According to the Bible, there were 21 acts of rebellion by the Israelites that set them free from Egyptian control. In a similar way, we have resisted the force of Covid to break our resolve and crossing into 2021 is a confirmation that we are free indeed. We must therefore be deliberate in giving God thanks because it is by His mercies that we are not consumed.

Year 2021. Hmm! 21 is the number of shots fired in a peaceful gun salute to signify no hostility. Year 2020 has been like a period of war for mankind with over 1.8 million people dead from Covid-19. However, the unveiling of 2021 signified the end of hostility with 21 gun salute. 21 gun salute is also given to honor royalty and heads of state. Yes, 2020 may have pummelled and buffeted you to the point where you no longer believe in yourself or your God, look up like royalty because this is 2021 (Revelation1:6).

Therefore, in this new year, stand with your head held high and receive 21 gun salute, which in pidgin English will be '21 Gbosa' and in core waffi patois will '21 kpoko.'

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021!

.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey. 

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Different Paths, Same Destination

 


I was thinking this morning..... last Sunday we had a mini-reunion of my University graduating class of 91. It was a momentous occasion because it was the first time many saw themselves 29 years after we graduated. As we caught up, reminisced and discussed our trajectories, life's lessons were dropping on my laps. 


First, I realised that though we started from the same terminal (Microbiology Department) and headed to the same destination (fulfilment and happiness), we did not all take-off at the same time. While most left after the first degree, some of us stayed back for our Masters degree and left 2 years later. Twenty nine (29) years after, we arrived at a common location on our way to fulfilling destiny. Different departure times but same destination.

Secondly, aside not leaving at the same time, we also did not board the same vehicle to take us to our destination. Of the 11 of us that showed up for the reunion, four took the flight of working in applied sector (Manufacturing, Oil & Gas etc.), another four went into business, two took the vehicle of banking and one ended up as a teacher. So, it didn't matter the vehicle we boarded, they are all taking us to our destination. We must not all work in an oil company or be bank managers, just do your thing and we will get there. Like they say 'just dey your dey make I dey my dey and we will be fine.'

As we interacted, I noticed that, yes we took different paths towards the pursuit of happiness (destiny), not everyone has achieved their goal. The different routes had their peculiarities. Some routes were smooth, others bumpy. Some achieved relative success very early in the journey, others later on, but a few others ran into serious potholes on their path that almost crashed their vehicle of life. For some the vehicles taking them broke down at some point setting them years back in marriage, finances or child bearing, while others had a smooth ride. One thing that is however true was that all 11 of us seem to have some form of fulfilment, not implying we do not wish for a lot more.

But how is it that we all had 4 years of same preparation but followed different paths to destiny? In life, there are different vehicles and paths to destiny. The path to take is at the discretion of each person. You may have looked back on the last 30 years, 10 years or even this year 2020 and it seems like the vehicle of your life has crashed. Please do not truncate the journey. Encourage yourself, fix the vehicle and stay the course. The journey might take longer but the destination is the same. It is not about who gets there first or whether you are full or empty when you arrive but rather about getting there. Stay the course and you will surely get there. With 4 days left to the end of 2020, look unto to Jesus so you could finish strong  (Hebrews 12:2).

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Uneasy Lies The Head

 


I was thinking this morning.... as I stepped out of the aircraft last Wednesday fully dressed and Covid protocols compliant. I was feeling a bit uneasy and decided to check why. My findings are, my head was covered with an Hausa cap (called Fula or Wagambari), my eyes with sunglasses, my nose and mouth with cloth mask and my ears plugged with ear piece. Haba!!! All these accessories for one head? For the first time, I had a unique understanding of the expression 'uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.' olboy, it wasn't easy for my head that day. Lol..


As I reflected on this head figuratively, I saw a correlation with the family. Consider this. The cap (your parents) are above and meeting their needs puts some pressure on the head from above. The sunglasses (your spouse) shield the eyes from direct sun rays, but their needs sometimes put pressure on the side of the head. The ear pieces signify your children. Hmm! They have your ears but without God and proper planning, they can give you headache. Finally, the face masks (your friends and relatives) which are very necessary if you must stay 'coro-free' could end up choking you (I can't breathe). Haba! Uneasy lies the head...

Just like my head, this is the season for heads of families to feel the pressure. This season, forty years ago, I can remember what my parents were going through. I will trouble them like Ekpan fly until Christmas clothes and shoes show up. But unlike those years, 2020 has been a year like no other and many family heads are struggling. So wives, please don't put pressure on your husbands and children don't trouble your parents like I did mine in those days. Relatives and friends, abeg make una dey calm down because uneasy lies the head...

It doesn't matter if the head is as big as 'Ozengbe's' or small, the pressure is real. Whether head of family, head of class/department, head of the unit/church or head of state, uneasy lies the head.
Please show some understanding, protect and pray for the head because the peace of the head is the peace of the whole body. No wonder Peter said in John 13:9 'Lord wash also my head.'

Merry Christmas.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey. 

Saturday, 12 December 2020

SUPER WHAT?


was thinking this morning.... it's 18 days to the end of 2020 and what a year it has been. When I tried to think of a word to describe this year, what came to mind was 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.' Eh relax! I am not speaking gibberish. The word was popularised in the 1964 film Mary Poppins, in which it is used as the title of a song and defined as 'something to say when you have nothing to say'. Truly, concerning 2020, I have nothing to say.


The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' as 'a nonsense word, originally used especially by children, and typically expressing excited approbation: fantastic, fabulous', while Dictionary.com says it is 'used as a nonsense word by children to express approval or to represent the longest word in English.' Actually, it is not a nonsense word but a compound word said by Richard Lederer in his book Crazy English to be made up of these words: super- 'above', cali- 'beauty', fragilistic- 'delicate', expiali- 'to atone', and -docious 'educable', with all of these parts combined meaning 'Atoning for educability through delicate beauty.' Hmm!

Many cannot wait to see the end of 2020 which has been aptly described as unprecedented. To most people, this year has been nothing but overwhelming and if asked to describe this year in one word considering their peculiar circumstances, many may not find the right words may create a new word.

I thought about the families of the 1.57 million people that have died from Covid-19 this year alone worldwide including 1,919 deaths in Nigeria. They entered 2020 with great expectations and never dreamt they will lose a loved one. Covid came and broke their hearts. If you hear them in their shock and sorrrow describing 2020 as  'Supercovidfatalityexpialidocious,' please do not conclude they are speaking nonsense. It's their way of saying something when there is nothing to say.

What about the millions that have lost their source of livelihood this year from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic? The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had estimated that about 25 million people will lose their jobs worldwide as a result of Covid-19. When asked, these people will probably describe 2020 as 'Supercovidmakemejoblessexpialidocious.'

Now it's the holiday season and many countries are battling the second wave of the pandemic. Despite the subdued celebrations, some had gone the whole mile to deck their homes and surrounding with boughs of holly, having wreath on their front door to give a warm welcome to guests and fill us with a sense of wonder and nostalgia. For these, they had made the conscious decision to subjugate the pain of Covid-19 and other negative experiences to the dustbin of oblivion and decided to showcase the beauty of the holiday season. As I walked through beautifully decorated houses and streets in my estate, all I could say was 'Supersantamerrychristmasexpialidocious.'

Whatever it is you have seen this year, you are better off than 1.6 million people that Covid-19 killed. Therefore make shakara and celebrate. Splash the colours and finish 2020 on a high. 1st Thessalonians 5:18 says 'In every thing give thanks.'

Happy Sunday.

.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.