Sunday, 7 August 2022

RUNNING WITHOUT UNDERPANTS

 


I was thinking this morning..... In the just concluded World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, 18-year-old Italian decathlete, Alberto Nonino, competing in the 400m race suffered a wardrobe malfunction. He was forced to complete the race with his privates hanging out of his loose-fitting shorts, and ended up coming last.

Alberto Nonino blasted past two rivals in terrific style on the last bend in the race, but in the final straight he slowed down and was filmed grabbing his crotch. His competitors then went past him and he finished at the back of the pack. Spanish-speaking press were quick to claim Nonino’s slow 51.57 second 400 metres was the result of him opting to run without underpants. Hmm! Funny but serious.

Life is a race and most people have something very personal to hide. Like is common with humans, they jump into the race without adequate preparation or too much assumptions. It doesn't take long before their 'privates' spill like that of Alberto Nonino.

The recent ousting of UK Prime minister Boris Johnson was primarily because he suffered wardrobe malfunction and his 'privates' during the Lockdown Partygate spilled. He was forced to abandon the race.

We are in another election cycle in Nigeria. It's still early days into the race and we are already seeing candidates grabbing their crotches, because their 'privates' such as certificate scandal, drug cases, past corruption cases, health challenges and many more, are hanging out in public glare. The reason is simple, they are running without underpants. Unfortunately, like Alberto Nonino, Nigerians are not known for abandoning any race, they will rather suffer the disgrace and die than quit.

Truth is, we all have done something in the past we may not be proud of and may not want to share with the public. If that is true with you, then do not enter the race for public office because your past, present and future will be scrutinised. And if you must run, please wear underpants.

As for me, Philippians 2:16  is my watchword and it says 'Holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 30 July 2022

JUJU BREEZE

 


I was thinking this morning..... As I sat with my Hussey College classmates in Warri on Friday, suddenly there was a gust of wind and memories of the good old days flashed. One experience from the past that stuck with me is the sight of a whirlwind which we popularly called 'Juju breeze.' We ignorantly called it Juju breeze because this moving column of air is so fast that it moves almost everything on its path and leaves everyone in awe by its impact.

When our very own Tobi Amusan broke the women 100m huddle World record twice in one night last Sunday in Eugene, Oregon, the world stood in awe. The feat was so amazing particularly for an African that some started questioning the record and suggested the feat may have been due to wind or equipment malfunction. How can a petite African broke the World record by a huge 0.08s? To now do it again at the finals by 0.14s? Nooo! Something ain't right! As I read different reactions, it was clear in my mind that many non-Afrcans will be thinking that it was the African 'Juju breeze' that propelled her to victory.

In their racism corrupted mind, nothing good can ever come out of Africa. While they were fishing for reasons to discredit the achievement, little did they know that six years ago, Tobi had written the following words on her timeline 'Today I am unknown, one day I will be unforgettable'. Truly, today she is unforgettable, not because of the force of wind or Juju breeze but because of the force of diligence and positive confession.

The night before she broke the World record, Tobi had again written on her friend's wall on Instagram 'Incoming World record holder.' Hours later, she was the World record holder, not because of Juju breeze but by self belief and positive words.

Danielle Williams of Jamaica had said 'Tobi literally spoke her victory into existence.' Hmm! What you think and say of your yourself is crucial. Don't speak defeat into your life because of your present circumstances. You can change your world by changing your words. When you do, like Tobi, your success will not be from Juju breeze, but your positive response to John 1:22  that asked 'What do you say about yourself?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 23 July 2022

ENJOY!

 


I was thinking this morning..... I had the opportunity of attending another Leadership Programme at Lagos Business School (LBS) this past week and was again enthralled by the excellent service of the Catering team. Some have argued that most students that have gone through LBS remember the food more than what they were taught in class. While reflecting on why, I discovered that the way a meal is served influences its savour. At LBS, every steward handing you food and water will never do so without ending with a smile and saying 'Enjoy!'

It is common practice across Africa for a wife to serve her husband his food kneeling down. This is not just considered a sign of respect but a demonstration of love which influences the savour of the meal. No wonder some believe that when a woman kneels to serve your meal, you will eat the food with glee even if it is poisoned. Like they say 'E get why.'

It is this trick that our politicians engage when serving their poisoned candidates on a platter. They smile, dance, beg and even kneel to bias your judgement. Many are carried away by primordial sentiments, while others sell their votes for 'agbado.'

Four years later, Universities are shut down and students are at home for 5 months, while the politicians are attending the graduation of their children abroad. When I hear the masses complain, all I can do is smile like LBS stewards and say 'Enjoy!'

With the global economy going gaga, our managers are lost as per what to do. Borrowing more than we are making, the economy collapses. US dollar exchanges for N650, Petrol sells for N179, Kerosene N850, Diesel N900, Interest rate rises to 14% and Inflation rate 18.6%. As the hardship squeezes, so are the faces of the people. When everyone grumble and curse, I can only smile and say 'Enjoy!'

While some will call it packaging, the 1964 Musical/Family movie 'Mary Poppins,' puts it another way in a song with a line that says 'Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in a most delightful way.' So whether in business, socials or politics, when you are presented with a well packaged 'meal' with a smile, please ensure it is clean, balanced and healthy like that served at LBS. 2 Kings 4:40 warns us of the poison in the pot. So don't be deceived by the packaging. Just enjoy!

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 16 July 2022

JUST LOOK UP

 


I was thinking this morning.... Driving around Nigeria with an eye for the abnormal is a good way of relieving stress. The vehicle pictured above is one of such. I smiled at the comic mind of the owner and wondered why he decided to put his License (number) plate on top of the bus. I was even more curious as to why he wrote 'Look up' at the location meant for the License plate. Like my young wife will say 'Nothing Tola no go see for tollgate.'

As I doubled down on the thinking behind the driver writing 'Look up,' it occurred to me that the natural tendency when you don't find the number plate where it should be, is to assume it fell down. Hence, the driver was intentional in letting us know that it didn't fall down but moved up.

It is natural to reason in sync with the law of gravity and assume things going down instead of up. Our mindset is wired to look down and not up. Yesterday, a friend wrote about his trip to Singapore on Friday. He left Nigeria and upon his arrival in Doha to connect his flight, a lady with walkie talkie was waiting by the exit of the plane with his name boldly written. He went to her and identified himself. She said 'Please follow me.' He asked himself, 'what did I do again?' Nevertheless, he followed her even as they bypassed queues and went through expedited security screening. He was still wondering what he has done wrong, when the lady said 'You’re a Silver Customer, I came to welcome you and lead you to the VIP lounge.' Chai! Why was he looking for himself on the ground instead of looking up? Why did he think he had done something wrong instead of right? I guess we are wired to think that way.

While it is true that gravity naturally brings everything down, it is even more true that divine grace moves people up. So the next time you can't find someone at an expected position, please do not assume gravity and look down, think grace and look up. If you are used to seeing me at 'God is Good' bus terminal for interstate journeys and no longer. Please don't assume I am now trekking, just look up, I am now flying. Job 22:29 says 'When men are cast down, then thou shalt shall say, There is lifting up.' Just look up.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 9 July 2022

BYE-BYE APPLAUSE

 


I was thinking this morning.... It was Tuesday 5th July 2022 and we were all gathered at the International Conference Center (ICC) Abuja for the opening ceremony of the 21st edition of the NOG Conference and Exhibition. After the Welcome address, the Honorary Conference Chairman, H.E Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, the OPEC Secretary General, was called on stage to give his keynote address. For the next 30mins he held the audience spell bound with a view of world energy politics like I have never heard before. Wow! Excellent presentation.

When he was done, Abdulrazaq Isa, Chairman of IPPG, came on stage and told the audience how as Nigerians we have not given honour to whom it is due. He mentioned that at the CERAWEEK Energy Conference each year, our very own export to the world, Mohammad Barkindo will always be given a standing ovation after his speech. He therefore requested everyone in the hall to stand up and do same. We all stood and gave this colossus a loud and extended applause. A short while later, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylvia, came on stage and told us how the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had also given the outgoing OPEC Secretary General a standing ovation just that morning.

When we left the hall, the team including Dr Barkindo went round the different booths for the exhibition. They visited our stand and was again given the deserved honour. The day closed past 6pm and we departed. I woke up the next day to the news that 63 years old Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, had died at 11pm, same day he had received series of applause from Nigerians. Wow! Everyone thought he was being applauded for his excellent job at OPEC, we never knew that he was being applauded as he transitioned to higher plains. Life really is ephemeral and transient.

As I set out on my way to the Day 2 of the Conference, I imagined the sort of applause I will get and for what? You will not be applauded for how big your house is or how fat your bank account is but by how many lives you touched and how you improved the wellbeing of society. There will be no applause for how many titles you acquire or for how mean a politician you are.

Even if you buy men, like political delegates, to applaud you, would you be applauded by the angels and saints when you arrive eternity? Think on these things. 1st Corinthians 15:19.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 2 July 2022

NO REPLAY BUTTON

 


I was thinking this morning..... Last Tuesday evening I had taken my cherished spot on the sofa when I heard a knock on my door. I welcomed the visitors in as my favourite soap on TV was beginning. By the time my friends said goodbye, I had missed a good portion of the episode. But I didn't have to worry as I picked up the remote control and simply pressed the rewind and replay button.

As I did, it flashed on me that for the most part, life has no replay button. I stared at the framed family portrait on the wall behind the TV and flashes of the childhood days of my children came to me. Children toys at every turn, crayon marks on the walls and constant noise from their energetic play are no longer an experience. Taking them out to play and teaching them to ride a bike. No. That ship has sailed. The children of yesterday are today's adults engaging me in serious conversations. Oh how I wish I can press the replay button to savour that experience one more time. Life says 'No. I have no replay button.'

I remember my days in Hussey College Warri like I was in a reality show on TV. Some days were uneventful but there were lots of beautiful people that made the experience feel like a classic soap opera. Some of the main actors had transitioned to glory, while others are scattered around the world. In my quiet moments, I am sometimes tempted to want to press the replay button just to enjoy the care-free good old days, but alas, life has no replay button.

There are many times when one misses crucial opportunities. You had a once in a lifetime chance for a dream job. You prepared long and hard but got into the interview and could not string your thoughts and answers together. You came out perplexed and wishing you could just press replay. Life promptly responds with 'Sorry. I have no replay in me.'

Because life has no replay, enjoy every moment of today. Spend quality time with family and friends and take time to enjoy nature. If tomorrow you look back and are tempted to press replay, let it be that the first time you enjoyed premium view and experience. Ecclesiastes 5:18 - 20.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 25 June 2022

THE CATFISH EFFECT

 


I was thinking this morning...... about fishy things. Yesterday 25th June was National Catfish Day. I thought of joining the celebrations with a bowl well-spiced catfish peppersoup, but as I pondered on the dish, my attention was drawn to an interesting fact that Catfish have over 100,000 taste buds. The taste buds are located all over their bodies to help them sense where food is. Because they swim in murky water, their sense of taste serves as tool to find food when they can’t see well.

Wow! As I pondered on this fact, Nigeria politicians and their tendency to jump from one party where there is no longer food to another where there is food, came to mind. They work for AGIP (Any Government In Power). Nigeria politicians are not ordinary politicians, they are 'Catfish Politicians.'

Some people refer to themselves as 'foodie.' They love good food and will not miss on any opportunity to relish an experience. That's okay. However, when you have a friend that shows up at your home only when food is ready, he or she is not just a friend but a 'Catfish friend.'

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Nigeria is the world's largest producer of catfish with the catfish industry worth over N262 billion. As I reflected on our huge consumption of catfish, I began to worry that it may be causing a condition called 'Catfish Effect.' How else do you explain one man stealing over N80 billion of our commonwealth because he was the Accountant General if not because he has taste buds all over his body to smell money? Our politicians are showing the same tendency for legendary avarice.

2023 is an opportunity to deliver our nation from Catfish Politicians but what do we do with regards to the Catfish effect? Maybe we should switch from consumption of catfish to dogfish (a shark) to save ourselves from this disease. Otherwise, 1st Timothy 3:3 admonishes, 'Not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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