Sunday, 15 October 2017

I was thinking this morning..... about Nigeria Wedding Colours

Nigerian Wedding Colours

I was thinking this morning.... about colours and how it has evolved in Nigeria. If you think you are familiar with colour types, pick up Nigerian wedding invites and test yourself. A colleague invited me to his daughter's wedding and as I read the invite, I saw 'Colour of the Day; Aqua/Fayrouz Green.' 'Which one be Aqua/Fayrouz Green again na?' I had quipped. As I soliloquized, I recalled watching a Nigeria movie, 'Dance to my beat,' recently where the colour for the wedding was 'Champagne gold.' Trust me, when I heard 'champagne gold,' I struggled to picture what it will look like.
The way we are going in Nigeria, we will soon establish our own colour scheme. Haba naija!!! Until my adult life, I never knew that there were other colours aside from the basic primary and secondary colours we were taught in school. Since I started receiving wedding invitations, I now know that we have tertiary and now Nigeria colours.
But wait a minute, why have we chosen to depict our colours with food and drink instead of using the actual names? Could it be sheer laziness to find out what the shade of colour is called or our proclivity for 'owambe' or 'igbadun?' 'Think Party, Think Food and drinks!' Is the colour description meant to give an indication of what to expect at the event? Maybe. When the colour is Aqua/Fayrouz green, expect lots of water, Fayrouz and other soda drinks, but when it is champagne gold, you know what to expect.
I found out that the colour my friend called Fayrouz green could either be Lime, Pear, Chartreuse or even Parakeet and what they call champagne gold could either be Blonde, Daffodil or even Dandelion. If you think about it deeply, you will not blame Nigerians for being creative. Imagine reading the colour of the day in an invite to be 'Chartreuse or Parakeet,' how on earth will one know that it is a shade of green?
Yes it is creative associating the colour to something everyone is familiar with, my only grouse with our choice of description is that some are too elitist. For example, how can a typical waffi man know what champagne gold looks like when he has never drank champagne before? Instead of saying 'champagne gold,' why don't they say 'Chinchin gold?' They can also use 'Alomo Bitters red,' 'Dogonyaro green,' 'Indomie cream,' 'Coca Cola black' and so on.
Another challenge I have with our brand of colour scheme creation is that it feeds the 'aso-ebi agenda.' All I can say is that it is well.
In closing my colourful thought, I am pleading with event planners to minimize the description of colours with food and drinks because it masks the essence of the occasion. For example, the message of Isaiah 1:18 is repentance and salvation, now imagine a Nigerian invite reading, 'Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins are like Alomo bitters red, they shall be as white as rice; though they are red like Valentino wine, they shall become white like fresh pounded yam.' Be careful with your illustrations. May God help us to manage our 'igbadun mentality.'
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

I was thinking this morning..... about Youths and Elders

Youths and Elders
I was thinking this morning......on my way back from work the other day, I turned on the radio to listen to the major news where I get information on the local environment. What I heard got me very confused. The presenter had read out a statement which he credited to 'the Youth wing of the Rivers Elders Forum.' For some seconds I tried to make sense of what 'Youth wing of Elders Forum' really meant. Does it mean these guys are the youngest of the elders or there are youths that are elders?' In my search for understanding, I recalled watching on TV some time back, the visit of youths from the south-south of Nigeria to the then Acting President, Yemi Osibanjo. Watching these so-called youths stand with Osibanjo for group photograph made Osibanjo look like a teenager. I asked myself at the time, if these were youths or elders. Now I know better, they were the 'Youth wing of the Elders Forum.'
As I continued to scratch my head in confusion, I recalled a true story a doctor friend, now retired, told me. He had mentioned that some years ago, an expat arrived the organization to resume as a staff supposedly under 60 years, though his looks said otherwise. Like we do in Nigeria, he decided to give him a warm welcome with a vigorous handshake. To his chagrin, the man's hand dislocated from the shoulder. At this point the expat confessed to being in his late seventies. Hmm!!! He must be a member of the youth wing of the elders forum.
You know, I have always wondered when that common saying in Nigeria, 'the youths are the leaders of tomorrow' will come to pass. Little did I know that it is already being fulfilled. I found out that the average age of the current Federal ministers is 55 years, with the youngest, Abubakar Malami and Kemi Adeosun being 50 years and Audu Ogbeh, the oldest being 70 years. Hmm!!! Look at the current Senate. Of the 109 seats, there is no senator below 40 years of age. Dino Melaye is the youngest at 42 years and Shaaba Lafiagi the oldest at 76 years. What is clear is that with 83 of the senators (76%) aged between 50 and 70 years, don't make the mistake of thinking the majority of our leaders are elder statesmen. No! No!! No!!! They are simply members of the youth wing of the elders forum.
I am not sure what the motivation is for an elder to lay claim to being a youth or whether there is a demographic called youths, but whatever it is, something ain't right, like the Americans will say. Joel 2:28 says, 'And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.' But the way it is in Nigeria, it is the old men dreaming dreams and seeing visions, while the young men are either sleeping and snoring or helping the old men achieve their dreams. Youths, wake up and be truly youths.
Happy Sunday.
.......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

I was thinking this morning ...... about Independence Day

Independence Day
I was thinking this morning..... about Independence Day. I woke up this morning with smiles recalling how as students in the early eighties we looked forward to Independence Day. How with freshly washed and ironed uniforms, we all troop to the Warri Township Stadium for the Independence Day match past. Oh, we took every step with great expectation of a glorious future for our nation. Today, 57 years after we were granted independence, we are still grappling with potty training issues. At a time when only last Monday, Dubai launched the world's first self-flying taxi, we cannot even boast of a decent taxi on a decent road, instead our own pacesetter state was donating 1000 power generators to the Nigerian Police. Oh God, where did we get it wrong?
As I sat by the edge of the bed lost in thought, my mind drifted to my 57 years old colleague getting ready for retirement. With his children out of university, he was ready to step aside, confident of facing what lies post-retirement. But why is Nigeria still a baby at 57?
Could it be because of bad leaders? Yes. Could it also be because we are docile followers? Yes. As I hung on to that line of thought, I recalled the Ugandan Hon. Fred Mukasa Mbidde of Democratic Party, who in deference to his party position had told the press, 'I have consistently stated that I will not kowtow in their poohoo.' Even as I smiled at his statement, knowing fully well that 'the guy dey learn work where our very own Patrick Obahiagbon is,' I realized how apt a point he has made. We the followers have not only been docile, we have been kowtowing in the poohoo of our past and present political leaders.
I know from college that 'kowtow' means to bow down in adoration, and recently found out that 'poohoo' means useless cries of pain made when one is pooing. Think about it, we know the politicians are looting us dry. Looting the money meant for education, health care, power and even our pension. We shout and wail on social media, but when the next thief is discovered to belong to our political party or tribe, we excuse it. We let it go. For the rest of us, these same people return in different garbs shouting on top their voice how they have become politically born-again and now want to better our lives. We vote them in again. Ah, we are kowtowing in their poohoo.
Step it down one level. You see parents support their kids to beat the school laws by smuggling contraband into the hostels. Some even go further to support malpractice in schools, because the noise all around them is how the end justifies the means. More and more parents are failing their children because we are no longer the moral and spiritual beacons we are expected to be. Oh, a broken family is a broken nation. We all are kowtowing in their poohoo.
As we look forward to another 12 months when we will return to celebrate Nigeria at 58, I beg you, do not kowtow in the poohoo of those that are dragging us down. We must return the ancient landmarks. The scripture says in Hosea 14:1, 'Nigeria, come back! Return to your God! You're down but you're not out.'
Happy Independence.
....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

I was thinking this morning.....About Aggressive Defensive Move

Aggressive Defensive Move

I was thinking this morning..... about how aggressive we have become as a people. It was another Monday morning when I set out for the airport very early and so much time to spare, or so I thought. But the driver of the taxi I took had other plans. His aggression on the road made me wonder why was not a Formula One driver. Though his aggression seems to be measured and safe, his impatience at the tollgate and quick maneuvering between cars dropped the question in my lips, 'what is driving this guy?' or putting it in Warri slang 'wetin dey work this guy?'
When I arrived at the airport, checked in and sat at the waiting lounge, I opened my online News page and read an article about last weekend's Formula One race in Singapore and how Sebastian Vettel lost the race to Lewis Hamilton. The writer had asked, 'How much will Sebastian Vettel come to regret the aggressive defensive move that contributed to the collision that took him out of the Singaporean Grand Prix?'
The statement made me reflect on the 'aggressive defensive moves' we make all too often and the regret that follows. It is okay to defend yourself but when your defense becomes too aggressive, you become the aggressor. In defending ourselves we must know that discretion is the better part of valor.
Think of David Luiz of Chelsea last weekend, who was being bullied by an Arsenal player. In defending himself, he became too aggressive, came at Sead Kolasinac viciously and was shown a straight red card. Too bad! He had become the aggressor. Discretion is the better part of valor.
'Aggressive defensive move,' is this an inbuilt character trait or did we learn it from the environment? Oh I see the link. We have been hurting the environment and destroying everything natural. In response, nature became aggressive and lashed at men with Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria. The impact is devastating. Aggressive defensive move will always leave regrets.
You are married but feel marginalized by your in-laws and therefore you want to defend yourself. If you are too aggressive and decide to threaten your husband with divorce and starvation, don't be surprised if they launch 'Operation Mama Carol must go!' Hmm!!! Discretion is the better part of valor.
Oh, how important it is to exercise caution, because Prov 19:11 says 'A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.'
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

I was thinking this morning........... about Stress

I was thinking this morning ..... about stress. I started last week on a high, with an early Monday morning boat ride out of town for an inspection. No breakfast or even time to think of one. When we were done by lunchtime, I was out of time and was going to miss my boat ride back. So I skipped lunch and headed straight to the jetty. By whiskers, I was able to get into the boat just before it set off. I took my seat at the last row, took a deep breath and with eyes shut, I thought about how stressful life can be and then I remembered this gist that made me smile.

It was about an okada man that worked till 2am. On getting home, he decided to take a bath. He suddenly ran out naked shouting ghost! ghost!! ghost!!! Narrating his ordeal, he said he has poured water on his head several times but it's not touching his head. Neighbours rushed out only to discover he didn't remove his helmet before having his bath. Hmm!!! I giggled and for the first time I agreed with the words of Richard Carlson that 'Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.'

As I gave the words of Richard Carlson some more thought, it occurred to me that like the okada man, stress may be responsible for the flashes of insanity we are seeing around the world. Think about it, after a traumatic 2016/2017 season, Arsenal FC fans were hoping for some joy early this season. Guess what? After narrowly winning their opening match, they lost to Stoke City and were stunned by Liverpool. While everyone expected Arsene to strengthen the team while the transfer window remained open, he shocked everyone and sold Ox to Liverpool and brought in 'Nobodinho.' Like the okada man, he is expecting water to touch his head while he has his helmet on. Oh it must be stress that is responsible for the insanity flash.

Trust me, it has to be stress that is causing these flashes of insanity. Imagine the news of three passengers on board Air Peace flight from Lagos to Abuja being arrested and charged to court for pointing out and demanding an explanation as to why the emergency exits on the plane were blocked with seats. Instead of FAAN and NCAA grounding the aircraft and arresting the personnel that cleared the aircraft, they arrested the passengers that complained for being unruly. Yes, it must be stress that is responsible for this insanity flash.

It must be financial stress that will make a man pummel his wife simply because she asked him for money. Oh it must be 'spiritual stress' that will make a Professor kill his SAN younger brother in Ibadan because they had a dispute over their father's property. Both men only recently returned back to Nigeria after sojourning abroad. Please don't ask me what 'spiritual stress' is.

As you go out today and observe or read about these flashes of insanity, many may not be as a result of home trouble, they may just be from stress. Whatever, it is you are going through, just RELAX, God is in control.

Have a very happy and RESTFUL Sunday.

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

Sunday, 10 September 2017

I was thinking this morning ........ about Shame

I was thinking this morning....... about shame and Jonathan Swift, who said 'I never wonder to see men wicked but often wonder to see them not ashamed.' I was literally dragged by the ear to this thought after I read an article in the Vanguard newspaper written by one Ugoji Egbujo about how in the face of massive accusations made by one Senator Missau against the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Force, Nigerians had remained unconcerned. He had written, 'Where on earth does a law enforcement agent accused of corruption begin an investigation into his accuser's past even before the dust raised by his accuser's allegation has settled? Only in Nigeria.' To me the article, though intriguing, could have been neatly laid to rest in my subconscious, but then I read the concluding sentence where he asked, 'Shame, why have you departed?' Hmm!!! A million bulbs were switched on in my head by that statement.

It really got me thinking about how shame had departed from our shores to a land far away. The other day that I visited Abuja, I was admiring how well planned the city is, with well groomed walkways. Suddenly, the apple juice in my mouth had changed to Alomo bitters, when I observed an FRSC officer deployed to this picturesque neighborhood, stand by the road, zip down and started to pee without giving a hoot about who was driving or walking by. Oh shame, why have you departed?

As I bowed my head in humility, I recalled the news item midweek of the marital infidelity of a certain Ghanaian TV personality and media sensation Afia Schwarzenegger to her husband, South African based Ghanaian businessman and professional instrumentalist Lawrence Abrokwa. Instead of her to hide her face in shame, she went on Instagram and wrote 'I am single.....ready to date your father.' It is heart breaking how people caught in infidelity these days easily brush it off like a dry dust on a brown shirt. Oh shame, why have you departed?

In my dejection, my mind flashed back to the news of the possible take over of Arik Air by Ethiopian Airline. I understand that poor management of anything Nigerian or owned by a Nigerian is pervasive, but can't understand why if we must handover, it will be to Ethiopia. Haba Jamaha!!! Are we so bad as a people that we want to shamelessly hand over our institutions to Ethiopia to help us manage? Oh shame, why have you departed?

I believe it is time to go bring back 'shame,' not because 'shame' by itself is good, but it helps to buffet the deviants and drive them towards dignity. 'Shame,' please return so that Nigerians can behave. But as for you that is upright, my word for you is 'Fear not, for you will not be put to shame' (Isaiah 54:4).

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 3 September 2017

I was thinking this morning..... about Menopause and Niger Delta Oil

Flowing like Niger Delta Oil
I was thinking this morning..... about menopause and Niger Delta oil. I know someone might be thinking, 'this man sef, so you have nothing else to think about but this?' Trust me, I didn't wake up to think about menopause until last Sunday when a young lady gave a testimony in church. She was thanking God that after three years of ceased menstrual flow, through the power of God, her menstrual flow returned. According to her, 'when it returned, it was flowing like Niger delta oil.' Everyone laughed at the analogy but it got me thinking about the misery that follows menopause when a lady is yet to have children.

Menopause is an interesting phenomenon. If a lady is unfortunate not to have had  her children before the onset of menopause, it is assumed she has lost all. This is biological menopause. As I reflected on this condition, it occurred to me that the Niger delta region is approaching her menopause when the oil will cease to flow. This condition will be called Hydrocarbon menopause. Unfortunately, the region is yet to bear the children that will care for her at old age.