Sunday 21 July 2024



I was thinking this morning.... It was 20 years last Friday since my second missionary journey to Bonny National Grammar School (BNGS) on Bonny Island. As I paused to give thanks that Friday morning, my thoughts drifted to 1991, when I was first posted to BNGS for my NYSC primary assignment. I had prayed and lobbied to be posted to any of the oil companies in Port-Harcourt, but God had other plans for me. With fear and tears, I entered the local boat, which was then called 'See me, see water,' en route to Bonny Island.

It was the first time I was to live in a remote riverine community. I was accommodated within the school premises and assigned to teach biology. After overcoming my initial self-pity, I embraced my reality and made up my mind to make the most of the situation. With the support of fellow teachers like Mr Johnson and Mr Sokari, BNGS became my second home.

Within a few weeks, my high energy and effervescent nature had seeped through my teaching like gravy on hot rib eye steak. I inspired the love of education in so many students and prepared them for schools debates. I remember blowing their minds with the 'This is the beginning of the end and there can be no end if the begining has not ended,' as well as the 'Warsaw never saw war until Warsaw saw war' quotes.

The nine months I spent on Bonny Island between 1991 and 1992 became one of the most fortuitous periods of my life. When it was time to leave, I declared, during my sendforth, that I would be coming back, after my M.Sc, to work with the multinational company that was about to be constructed. July 19, 2004 (20 years ago, last Friday), I walked into BNGS in fulfilment of that prophecy.

As I reflected on how I gave my best in that remote location, I recalled the fact that flowers blossom in a forest even when there is no one to admire their beauty. The truth is, you can't make a real success out of your life if you are unhappy with yourself. Wherever you find yourself today, give your all and blossom. I can never know what would've become of me, if I had rejected my posting to Bonny island. Embrace your reality. God is taking you somewhere. Isaiah 28:29 (GNT) says 'The plans God makes are wise, and they always succeed.'

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 14 July 2024



I was thinking this morning.... Sometime in the eighties, we lived in a 4-flats building with the landlord, in Gbiaye Street, in the Marine Quarters area of Warri. One day, the landlord had sent for my dad and complained that he had been having a problem sleeping at night because of a strange noise. He posited that it seemed someone in one of the flats had juju that came out at midnight, making this ka-ka-ka-ka sound that kept him awake. The landlord and my dad's bedrooms were separated by just a wall.

Despite assurances from my dad that there was nothing of such, the landlord sent his grown sons on a search mission to uncover the juju disturbing them at midnight. They turned my dad's room upside down but found nothing. Then they moved to the two flats downstairs and did the same, but no luck.

Though angered by their ridiculous accusation, we decided to pay attention that night to help unravel the mystery. 'You know say e no dey tay before dem dey catch winch for Warri.' We waited as everyone went to bed. Decibel by decibel, the surrounding noise went down. As the noise finally died after midnight, we listened intently, waiting to hear the steps of the juju. 'Listen. I can hear it now,' one of us said. We inclined our ears and could hear the ka-ka-ka-ka sound. We followed the sound into my dad's room again. We froze and listened. It seems to be coming from above us. We looked up and almost died of shock by what we discovered. We finally caught the juju. It was my dad's old ceiling fan.

Apparently, the ceiling fan, due to wear and tear, makes this tick-tock sound when on low oscillation. It does so all day, but no one hears it because of the noise all around. It seemed louder from midnight when everywhere was dead quiet.

Don't be too quick to jump to a conclusion. Too many Africans are fighting imaginary devils because of their ignorance. Many are too lazy to investigate or do a deep dive. If only they can quiet the noise of their prejudices. Like they say, everyone's mountain is their ignorance. Invest in developing your mind because it is a thought factory. It produces based on the raw material you feed it. If you put in garbage, you get garbage. Proverbs 4:23 says "Keep your heart will all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life."

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 7 July 2024



I was thinking this morning.... My flight landed in Lagos right on schedule, at about 3.30 pm. The vehicle was on hand to pick me up. We immediately set out ahead of rush hour traffic. As we exited the Third Mainland Bridge at about 4.30 pm, we ran into the rush hour traffic at Victoria Island. Oh no, I exclaimed quietly in my soliloquy. One will think I was rushing to meet a business appointment. It wasn't that. Why exactly was I bothered about an hour or so of delay, since I wasn't driving? A deep search exposed what was driving my anxious expectation. I was in a hurry to get home before 7.30 pm.

What exactly was happening at 7.30 pm? No, I wasn't expecting a VIP at home. I was rushing to watch Tinsel on DSTV. Wow! How is it possible that I have become hooked on this soap opera on TV? I did a mental playback and discovered to my chagrin that for 16 years, I have been looking forward to 7.30 pm each week day.

Tinsel is a Nigerian soap opera that began airing on DSTV in August 2008 and is currently in its 17th season. There were times when the plots in the series were really interesting and understandably held me spellbound. But there were many times the storyline was drab and made no sense, yet I still looked forward to 7.30pm. As I imagined how from one day to a week and then one month of watching Tinsel has grown to 16 years, it gave me a fresh understanding of how Smokie, in its 1972 hit song, could live next door to Alice for 24 years without telling her how he feels.

Whenever I wasn't physically on the ground to meet my 7.30 pm appointment, like when I was out of the country, my decoder was always there to record every episode. Apart from my walk with God, which has been since 1994 (30 years), I am not sure of any other daily or weekly activity I have been committed to for an unbroken 16 years. It is difficult for me to understand how I can be committed to a TV program for 16 years. For the 30 mins each week day means I have cumulatively spent 87 days of my life watching just Tinsel.

Be careful what you give your time to. Just one video game or one episode of Telemundo, before you know, it has become an addiction. Don't watch another porn video, else you get hooked. Time is one of your most valuable resources. How effectively you are spending your time is a reflection of how your life will be. Redeem your time because the days are evil (Eph 5:15).

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 30 June 2024



I was thinking this morning..... as the first half of the year ends today, I reflect on a number of recent incidents. Tomato, the edible berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum, has, from time immemorial, been an indispensable ingredient in making our Nigerian stew. It is also a basic ingredient in a large variety of raw, cooked, or processed foods, including our signature Nigerian jollof rice.

In recent weeks, however, tomatoes have become like gold. Scarce, expensive and out of the reach of ordinary citizens. In order to keep enjoying our traditional rice and stew, Nigerians have creatively resorted to cucumber and watermelon stews. The truth be told, without fresh tomatoes, stew no fit be stew.

'Everywhere Stew' is a deliciously inane Nigeria phrase that means something that is masterfully prepared and high quality. For lovers and fans of Nigerian music star, David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, you will no doubt agree that his June 25th glamorous wedding tagged Chivido'24 cannot be more succinctly described than to say 'Everywhere Stew.' There is only one thing that made it happen. Tomatoes were not in short supply. Without tomatoes, everywhere can not stew.

Ironically and sadly, on the same day everywhere was stewing at Harbour Point in VI, Lagos, just a stone throw away, 45 year old Nick Imudia, the former chief executive officer of Konga and CEO of D.light, a leading innovator in residential solar energy solutions, was tired of life and decided to end it by jumping from his residential storey building at Lekki. Nick had all the money to buy tomatoes, but he couldn't make everywhere stew.

Just like stew without fresh tomatoes is putty, living without the tomatoes of life is torture. While some may rely on money to buy the tomatoes for their stew, others simply just sow the tomatoes they need. Self-love, peace, and a renewed mind are the tomatoes of the stew of life. Cultivate the tomatoes of life and then you will be sure everywhere will be stew around you. No wonder Romans 12:2 says, 'And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.'

My prayer for you is that as we get into the second half of this year, everywhere will be stew around you. You will not lack physical tomatoes nor the tomatoes of life.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 23 June 2024



I was thinking this morning..... I, again, remember my childhood days in Warri. While my most fond memories are those of fun playing games with sardine keys, rubber seeds, and bottle caps (table soccer), there were sour memories that I would rather not remember. One of such were times I came down with a fever. To me, coming down with a fever was triple jeopardy. You suffer from high temperature and body pain and then contend with the very bitter taste of chloroquin. Finally, there is the torture from the body itch as side effects of the chloroquin. Argrrrr! Merely thinking of being feverish in those days gives me the creeps.

Though that feeling had slowly bleached out like a coloured cloth in the desert sun, I still don't like the thought of having a fever. Hence, my surprise at seeing an inscription on a motor bike saying, 'God, I need your fever.' Really? Does God have a fever He gives to people? Thinking deeply about it, I realised it was a challenge of grammar. What the writer had in mind was 'God, I need your favour.'

I am not sure if excessive favour can lead to fever, but I know that no one prays for fever. It is, however, possible to receive a fever instead of a favour if your endeavour is laced with terror. For instance, when you scam people during the week and go to church on Sunday, lift up unholy hands and then pray for favour. No. No. No. Instead of favour, you will receive a fever.

Yesterday, I attended the wedding ceremony of my colleague in Warri. As the couple posed for photographs, I could feel the chemistry between them and confident they both would enjoy favour. If you are lucky to have a God-fearing and responsible spouse, you will have favour. God help you if you land a 'soyoyo.' Fever shall be your portion.

Proverbs 18:22 says, "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." There are many praying for favour but receiving fever. My prayer for you is that instead of fever, you shall receive favour. God no go shame us.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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

Sunday 16 June 2024



I was thinking this morning.... We grew up in the Ogboru neighbourhood of Warri. An area where vices were prevalent. As young boys, we were highly impressionable and easily influenced by the grown-up jagudas and bomas. It was at this crucial phase of my life that my dad gathered us one evening and said 'Study hard and come top of your class (First to Third) and you will get a packet of Cabin biscuits and a tin of Corned Beef.' That challenge set my feet on the right pedestal, unlike so many other boys who were positively challenged.

I was reflecting on this experience when I received a call from a scammer. The second in one week. While a number of young people are profiting from the 'Attention Industry' known as Social media, the majority are wasting their lives away. Young men are perfecting scamming techniques while girls are shamelessly exposing their flesh to the world or engaged in electronic hook-up. Yet, statistics say there are 1.5 billion fathers in the world. Really?

Walk to the streets, and you will be shocked by how gangs, drugs, immorality, and sports betting have imprisoned the destinies of the youths. Yet, statistics say there are 1.5 billion fathers. Abeg, where are the fathers? Visit the home of an average street child, and you will see a single mother struggling to care for her children or an emotionally absent father. Yet, statistics say there are 1.5 billion fathers. Abegi!

A father is a shining light and a beacon to his children, steering them to becoming morally, spiritually, and emotionally stable adults. There might be 1.5 billion men that have impregnated women, but definitely not 1.5 billion fathers. You hear so much about social media influencers, but people forget that the most important influencer in the family is the man. If he successfully influences the children to greatness, then he is a father, otherwise, he is just a man.

As we celebrate another Fathers Day, I challenge all men to reflect on whether they are true fathers. An emotionally absent father is as bad a case as a physically absent one. Proverbs 23:24 says, "The father of a righteous son will rejoice greatly, and one who fathers a wise son will delight in him." Don’t withhold your love, affection and approval from your children. Be a true father.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Fathers Day!

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

Sunday 9 June 2024


I was thinking this morning.... It was a joyous occasion of the graduation of a member of my kin. The faculty had just a few Africans, amongst other nationals. As we sat eagerly listening to the roll call by the Ceremonial Marshall, one after the other, the proud graduands walked across the stage to receive their degrees from the University Chancellor.

It was a normal roll call until it got to M.Sc in Computer Science. The Marshall called out PATEL, Darshit Champakbhai, attracting pockets of applause from the hall. Next was PATEL, Dev Utkarsh. More applause followed and then PATEL, Devanshi Dineshbhai. At this point, I got curious at how a single family will have three persons obtain same degree from Computer Science at the same time. But then, I was dead wrong. The roll call of the PATELS had only just begun. It continued from one PATEL to another. At the last count, 24 graduands with surname PATEL had walked across the stage.

O boy! Na who be this PATEL sef? How can one family have 24 members graduate with M.Sc in Computer Science on same day from the same school? What are the odds? What does the PATELS know about Computer Science that the rest of us don't. But then, I was told none of the PATELS were related. The surname Patel is of Indian origin derived from the Gujarati word "pat" or "patlikh" and means "village chief" or "farmer." On that day, 24 village indians surnamed PATEL bagged M.Sc in Computer Science. The farmers and village chiefs had transformed into techies.

The unrelated 24 PATELS got me thinking. Don't let the circumstance of your birth determine the outcome of your life. You may have been born a farmer, but you can walk the stage of life and become a techie like the 24 PATELS. I have always said that the fact that apple and pine-apple have the same surname does not mean they belong to the same family. That we are all called Nigerians does not imply I belong to the same mould as most of the criminals we call leaders. Just like the 24 PATELS are different, I am a peculiar person (1st Peter 2:9). Dare to be different.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday!

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