Sunday, 20 August 2017

I was thinking this morning....... About World Mosquito Day

World Mosquito Day

I was thinking this morning....... about mosquitoes. Yes, mosquitoes. Not because I was badly bitten  last night by mosquitoes, but because I found out that today 20th August is World Mosquito Day. Why will a day be dedicated to that tiny insect called mosquito when we do not have World Lion Day or World Elephant Day? Truly, I understand World Malaria Day, dedicated to the eradication of malaria, but can't understand World Mosquito Day, which I found out marks the historic discovery by British doctor and Nobel Prize winner Sir Ronald Ross that it is the female Anopheles mosquito that transmit malaria between humans.

I unraveled that the wily mosquito has been stalking mankind for over 210 million years and tragically still kills a child every minute until very recently. 210 million years? Why are they obsessed with man? How did we offend these mosquitoes? As I thought about this, I recalled a funny Facebook post that says 'Women already have 3 to 5 days of losing blood every month. Can't mosquitoes be considerate and focus on men?' Hmm!!! Could that explain why it is only female mosquitoes that is involved in the blood sucking business? Are they making up for the blood their human counterparts lose? It may sound funny, but it is a food for thought.

I was thinking, why is that these mosquitoes make a living by sucking the blood out of humans? If you study this characteristics very well, you will discover that these insects that are universally hated the world over are not alone in this business.

You work so hard to earn your pay. Some sneaky fellow, sometimes living in same house, arranges with some criminals to take the money off you by force. They are 'economic mosquitoes.' You've decided to be more spiritual and get close to God. Some people around you have decided to be a source of temptation to fall you. They are 'spiritual mosquitoes.'

The thing about mosquitoes, whether Anopheles, economic or spiritual, is that they are stubborn, and will stop at nothing until they suck your blood. As we celebrate World Mosquito Day, stand firm against blood suckers as Isaiah 49:26 says, 'And I will feed those that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 13 August 2017

I was thinking this morning...... about Ozubulu Madness and CEOs

Ozubulu Madness

I was thinking this morning ...... about the Ozubulu madness where as a result of a drug-related disagreement, over 11 worshipers were cut down by a gun man while in church one fateful morning. The news of the incident stunned Nigerians and got me thinking. Why does it seem like the virus of madness is becoming an epidemic in Nigeria? It was once Niger Delta militants, then Boko Haram, then Fulani herdsmen and now Ozubulu brothers spilling blood like they do champagne on the head of a Formula One winner. Has every one in Nigeria become a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)?

What has a CEO got to do with this again? Some might be thinking. The trend of mass murder in Nigeria reminded me of an article I read in Time Magazine a while back that x-rayed the profession with the most psychopaths. According to the article, CEO is the profession with the most psychopaths followed by Lawyer and Media, while Care aid, Nurse and Therapist have the least. Now you understand where I am coming from.

Psychopath ke? Yes, psychopath, translated 'kolomental' in Warri, doesn't just mean someone who cuts you up with a chainsaw or kills 11 people in a church. Psychopath is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and anti-social behaviors such as such parasitic lifestyle and criminality.

Don't ask me if the conclusion by Time Magazine study that CEOs are the most psychopaths is 100% correct. For me, juxtaposing their findings and the recent events in Nigeria led me to the conclusion that most Nigerians are either CEOs. Lawyers or Media men or women and are capable of meting out the 'Ozubulu Treatment' at the slightest provocation.

Yes it is obvious that all the mass killings and kidnap cases in Nigeria point definitely to psychopathic behavior, but I am more worried about the less obvious cases. A truck broke down and blocked a major highway and for weeks it caused a traffic gridlock. Everyone stays in the traffic for hours and complains about how the next person has taken no action. You can see the lack of empathy, coldheartedness and irresponsibility in the behavior of the commercial bus drivers. These are signs of psychopathy and it may not be long before an angry driver gives the 'Ozubulu Treatment.'

We are supposed to be in a democracy where freedom of speech and association is guaranteed. A group of Nigerians with suspicious intentions are on the streets saying to the President 'Return or Resign.' The Police shot teargas at them and attacked them. No tolerance for dissenting voice, no empathy and are very impulsive, which are symptoms of a psychopath. They may not be far from
giving the protesters the 'Ozubulu Treatment.'

I know most people will either want to be CEO, Lawyer or Media man, but I beg you to encourage as many as you can influence to go into the Care industry (nursing, therapist etc) so we can have less psychopaths. As a minimum, you do not have to be a nurse to show compassion because Col 3:12 says 'Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.' We need loads of these vistues in Nigeria.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 6 August 2017

I was thinking this morning ..... about blindness to irony

Blindness to Irony

I was thinking this morning ..... on my way back from work during the week, I turned on the radio and heard the news of how two men pretending to be blind beggars were arrested by security agents at Imo State University. While I was wondering why anyone will pretend to be blind when thousands of blind men and women are beseeching heaven for a miracle, I recalled a recent article by Pius Adesanmi titled 'APC: The Obstinate Journey to Shame via London.

In that piece, he had said 'If blindness to irony stopped within the ranks of APC's leadership, if it was limited to Governors, Senators, Reps, and other political figures within her ranks, I wouldn't be so worried. It would be their funeral. My worry lies in how the leadership of APC has democratized blindness to irony, especially among their followers so effectively. If irony hits you like a Dangote truck and you are unable to recognize it as a citizen, you wear that condition of ignorance like a badge of honour.'

When I read that sentence about democratization of blindness to irony, there was celebration in my cerebral hemisphere, with the immediate effect of throwing me into deep thought. 'Am I blind to irony? I asked introspectively. I thought it was only PDP that had confirmed symptoms of 'blindness to irony?' Think about it, how come our political leaders cannot uphold the true tenets of democracy, but can effectively democratize blindness to irony? We must be under a spell!

But how is this so? You do not drink alcohol nor subscribe to your friends drinking, yet you took up a job with Nigerian Breweries Limited. It is an irony. If you do not see anything wrong with your position, then you are suffering from 'blindness to irony,' but if by virtue of your position as a manager, you have influenced everyone around you to be so inclined, then you have democratized blindness to irony. Hmm!!!

You might be saying 'wetin concern Ogoni man with NEPA light?' Just be patient with me. You say you are watching your weight and decided to eat veggies in the morning, take fresh juice in the afternoon and in the evening, the heap of pounded yam and egusi soup you demolish will be a challenge for 4 regular men to handle. It is an irony. I have no problem if you are hiding to do this, but if you do this openly then you are blind to irony. It's okay if it ends there, but if you have managed to convince your spouse and children to engage in this deception, then you have democratized blindness to irony.

Interestingly, blindness to irony did not start today because Matthew 23:16 says 'woe to you, blind guides, who says, 'if anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' To me, it doesn't matter if you are pretending to be blind or you are actually blind to irony, there is nothing honourable about being blind, except of course you are blind to sin. 

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 30 July 2017

I was Thinking this Morning ...... About Polished and Unpolished Rice,

Polished and Unpolished Rice

I was thinking this morning ..... my wife returned from shopping recently and told me that while she was in the process of purchasing the regular rice in the market, the very nice lady intervened and said 'madam you want to buy this polished rice, why don't you buy Abakaliki rice? It is very good o.' While she spoke, there were flashes in my head tending towards worry about the quantity of 'polish' I have eaten over the years. Before you tell me to calm down and not be scared, understand where I am coming from.

Whilst I sat quietly listening to her, the mention of 'polished rice' reminded me of a gist we loved while in secondary school about a  young man waiting to go across a busy road. At the point of crossing, he observed an elderly woman also waiting to cross over. He stopped the traffic and took the woman by the hand to the other side of the road. The woman in response looked at the young man and said, 'Young man, thank you. You have a very polished character.' Without hesitation, the young man responded, 'Yes, I use Kiwi.' Hmm!!!

In those days, Kiwi polish was the most popular brand of shoe polish for students and as far as the young man was concerned, you cannot talk about polish and not mention Kiwi. So pardon me when I thought of 'polish' as the cream (noun) you apply in shining your shoes, rather than the act (verb) of making smooth and glossy, especially by rubbing or friction.

Phew! With that understanding I relaxed and listened to the rest of my wife's gist. But it got me thinking about the benefits of polishing rice. Polished rice is rice that has been milled and had the husks, bran and germ removed. You polish something to make it better, but it seems that of rice, apart from making it look good, has caused more harm than good.

So if rice can be polished, why are we not doing a lot more polishing than we are seeing? You see children disrespect their elders without qualms, they need to polish their character. Have you seen some workmen eat like food is going out of fashion? They need to polish their appetite. What about the way some people dress? Surely they need 'Kiwi' in their wardrobe. And in response to CNN's question of what we think about Trump's leadership style, my answer is that it definitely needs political polishing. If you have paid attention to how praying for husbands has become a major prayer point for many ladies, you probably will agree that in many cases unpolished character is responsible for the delay, hence Psalms 144:12 says 'that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of the palace.' 

My prayer is that God will give us the grace to polish our daughters and eat unpolished rice this Sunday.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 23 July 2017

I was thinking this morning....... of Siblings Rivalry

Siblings Rivalry
I was thinking this morning....... about the Venus and Serena Williams sisters rivalry. Last week Saturday, Venus Williams played yet another Wimbledon open final, this time not against her kid sister but against Garbine Muguruza. Oh what an opportunity for her to win her 7th grand slam title. This is so because her younger sister Serena did not participate in the tournament because she is preparing to have a baby in a few weeks.

Since 2008 when Venus last won Serena in a grand slam final, Serena had beaten her elder sister without respect. Both sisters have played 9 grand slam finals and Serena won 7.

Although the rivalry is long established, and is very fierce in competition, the two sisters remain personally very close. I was listening to Venus after beating Johanna Konta at the semi finals talking about Serena and she said, 'I miss her so much. I really wish she was here.' I was like, seriously? If she was there, you can be sure not to have a chance at the trophy. It got me thinking, how are they able to remain so close in spite of this fierce competition?

Think about it, if they are Nigerians, Venus would have called a family meeting and pleaded with the parents to warn her younger sister not to embarrass her at grand slam finals again. 'What have I done to her that she won't allow me win?' I can imagine Venus say. And if they are very spiritual, someone would've warned Venus to stay away from Serena, because Serena is using her glory to shine. They would've argued that how come it is always Serena stopping her from winning another grand slam every time she had the opportunity since 2008. If Venus had won on Saturday, the spiritualist would've said, 'Didn't I tell you, this year that Serena is not here, you have won it. Pray o, pray that God should continue to make Serena pregnant, so that you can win more slams. After all, she has won 23 grand slams already.' they will conclude. Hmm!!!

As I pondered on this exemplary sisters, I reflected on how strong the bond that holds me to my siblings is. Will it hold if any of my sibling continue to have the upper hand at my expense? Think about it, your younger brother and yourself are in the same line of business and bid for same contracts from different companies. If your brother continue to win all the contracts at your expense, how will you feel? Even if you try to be normal, I am sure your spouse will tell you to 'shine your eye' because it is not ordinary. Is it really not ordinary? Some will say it is our way, but should it be? There is something special about Venus Williams, a virtue rarely found in Africans, even though we declare 'blood is thicker than water.'

As I close my thoughts, I was encouraged that I can do better than Venus, as I remembered the admonition of Romans 8:35 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?' As we continue this year, let no economic recession weaken your bond with your siblings nor our bond as Nigerians.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Mainlanders and Islanders

Flood on the Island

I was thinking this morning...... about our proclivity as Nigerians to seek out for things that divide us rather than what unites us. If you have been following the news this past week, you surely would have heard of or seen heart breaking videos and photos of how many Nigerians living in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki areas of Lagos were devastated by floods from torrential rains the week before. While some people in other areas of Lagos were genuinely concerned, it seems a good number living on the mainland areas of Lagos had some satanic joy at the fate of those on the Island. Never at a time has the terms 'Mainlanders' and 'Islanders' been so popular than now. Social media and even the traditional print media were buzzing with news about the floods on the Island. I gave it no thought until I read an article in the Independent News titled 'My Lekki Neighbour, How is the Weather?' One other article was titled 'The Rich also Cry.'

The Headlines got me thinking, are there no rich people on the mainland or are they saying there are no poor people living on the Island? Na wao! These headlines would give nothing away until you read the details to discover how the writers are gloating about their choice to live on the mainland as against the seemingly rich colleagues that chose the Island. I was thinking, if the decision to live on the Island is a personal rather than financial one, why should anyone celebrate the loss of another person.

Consider this, before now we were all Lagosians, now because of flood, some have separated themselves and have become 'Mainlanders.' This mindset is a snippet of the larger picture. We are Nigerians but yet divided by regions, states, tribe, religion etc. Haba!!! Why are we like this? I never knew Cameroon is one of the most diversified country in the world until recently, yet their differences are not in the face of the world like Nigerians have made theirs. Cameroon, with about 24 million people, has 289 ethnic groups and 2 official languages and cultures, French and English. Compared with Nigeria of 180 million people that has about 300 ethnic groups and one official language. 

My worry is that the way we are going, it will only take another heavy downpour before we hear of 'Ajahites' sending sympathy texts to the 'Lekkites' or we hear of the 'Ikotans' deriding the 'Awoyayans' because their area is flooded. What is surprising to me is that instead of the disaster bringing us together, it is tearing us apart. In response to some 'mainlanders' mocking those on the island after the flood, Beat FM On-Air-Personality (OAP), Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi had fired back that it was the inferiority complex of those in the mainland that is motivating them.Hmm!!!

As we brace up for what is left of the rainy season, I leave everyone in Lagos, especially those on the mainland with the words of 1st Peter 3:8 that says, 'Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind,' because like the saying goes, 'what goes around comes around.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Happy Vs Unhappy Family

Happy Family

I was thinking this morning..... about family and the opening statement in the popular Nigerian comedy show 'The Johnsons' that says, 'We look like a regular Nigerian family, but there is nothing regular about any of us.' It got me thinking about what 'a regular Nigerian family' is. Is it a polygamous or a monogamous family? Is it a happy family or an unhappy one? Is it a peaceful family or one like Fuji house of commotion? Is a regular Nigerian family one made up of a working husband, a full-time housewife and five children living in a 3-bedroom apartment? Maybe, you should tell me.

As we gradually get into the long holiday season with the children returning back from school, I was wondering what makes one family happy and another unhappy. Could it be the availability of wealth in the family or the presence or fear of God? As I pondered on this, I recalled the statement by Leo Tolstoy in his book Anna Karenina that 'All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Hmm!!!

I know of a family of eight with very limited resources, who during the long holiday, visits the village and have fun eating 'guguru and ekpa.' I also know of a family of four with so much to spare and they travel abroad yearly for vacation. Trust me, they are a happy family. As I considered both families, I agreed with Tolstoy that all happy families are alike. It is the one big thing, the love of family and fear of God, that makes them happy.

Look around you and Selah (pause and think). You will observe disintegrated families, squabbling families and unhappy families. You will even find '5 by 8' families. Okay, I am not referring to a family that sells 5 by 8 inches-sized plywood. Rather, the term '5 by 8' was a description given to a couple I was told about years ago that was so unhappy with themselves that they got intimate only 5 times in 8 years of marriage. Wow! you will say, and if you want to be a typical Nigerian housewife like Emuakpor Johnson of the 'The Johnsons' comedy show, you will be pardoned if you shout 'akpooorrr.' Lol.. If you think deeply, you will agree with Tolstoy that 'All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'

While happy families are happy for one reason, love of family, the unhappy ones are so because of many different reasons. One family may be unhappy because of money, another because the wife cannot cook and yet another because the husband snores. You will read about a family with friction because the wife is fat and another falling apart because the children are not as smart as their dad.😞

As my thoughts become hazy, I am convinced I must spend quality time with my family this holiday, because I know that the happiest families are not those who have the best things, but those who enjoy life and make the best of what they have. Forget about the little things that can make the family unhappy, and focus on the one big thing that matters, family. Create time to bond with your family this season. Go out with your family, go for worship with them and even farm with them so we can harvest more yam for export. But if for reason of the persistent rain, you cannot go out, at least sit with your family and watch the DSTV Family channel, assuming of course you have electricity.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Helplessness of man


I was thinking this morning..... about how fast the first half of 2017 flew by and how well I have done with my targets for the period. In my reflection, I recalled a recent conversation with an Angolan living in London about African affairs, and she said, 'we do not even know what is happening to our President.' 'How so?' I had asked. She revealed that 74-year-old Eduardo Dos Santos has been in Spain for weeks on medical treatment without information.

As she spoke, it seems like dejavu to me as I recalled that our own 74-year-old Buhari (PMB) has also been in the UK for weeks for medical reasons. While it has been somewhat quiet for the most part since PMB departed for his 'second missionary journey,' this past week was dominated by discussions about his health. While many were debating the veracity of whether PMB has lost his voice, suffers from memory loss or is on life support, I was humbled by how the narrative had changed from what PMB is doing or going to do to improve the health of Nigeria to issues relating to his personal health. Life!

I couldn't but reflect, if men like Dos Santos and PMB at the highest office, can be so helpless, why all the 'kati kati?' like we say in Warri. Imagine how quickly our aspirations pale into insignificance when one's health is challenged. We all started 2017 with great expectations, but while most people settled down to work, PMB embarked on his 'first missionary journey' on 19th January to attend to his health. Six months after, his 2017 list of expectations has been turned on its head. Hmm!!!

Where I sat reflecting on the challenges both Presidents are facing and praying for their speedy recovery, I tried imagining what is in the mind of PMB as he continues to battle his illness in London. Pause a minute and imagine PMB's  plan to follow through on the perennial electricity problem in the country and succeed where others failed, but he is distracted by his ill-health. I am thinking of how PMB has planned to deal with corruption, but today the Ikoyi dollar scandal remains unresolved weeks after investigation commenced. Oh how pained PMB will be that he is not fully on ground to lead his forces in kicking the economy back to life with the US dollar stubbornly refusing to bow below N365. Truly, life is a mystery. We can only throw the dice but cannot determine the outcome.

As I stand up to step out, I was reminded of Romans 9:16, 'So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.' So as you set your targets for the second half of 2017, pray for grace to accomplish.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 25 June 2017

More Competition, Less Gain

The more we compete, the less we gain

I was thinking this morning...... I was in a meeting last Friday planning for a safety campaign and a colleague of mine said, 'we need to introduce some competition, because competition brings out the best in us.' When competition was mentioned, I remembered Exeter corned beef and Oxford cabin biscuit. No need asking me why, because I will tell you. 

As children in primary school, my dad will say to us that whoever comes first to third in their respective classes would have earned  a can of corned beef and packet of cabin biscuit. For us then, it was pure bliss to bite into two cabin biscuits plastered together with corned beef. But to imagine having a packet of biscuit and a full can of corned beef to yourself as a child was simply amazing. Imagine my joy when I came third one year and was rewarded as promised. Oh, it was simply divine. Trust me, I will not lie like most parents that I came first in school. My third position was good enough to give me my corned beef and cabin biscuit.

Such was the extent that competition drove us. Over the years, we are beginning to see a shift in the way schools grade children. They no longer assign position at the end of the term, and phew, I am so thankful that this system did not commence in my time, otherwise I would've missed out on the opportunity to eat a packet of cabin biscuit and corned beef. Does it mean this new system that downplays competition, does not bring out the best in our children?

As I thought of this, I recalled the statement of Peter Thiel in his book 'Zero to One.' He had said in relation to business, 'We preach competition, internalize it's necessity, and enact its commandment; and as a result, we trap ourselves within it - even though the more we compete, the less we gain.' Isn't that statement spot on in many respects?

Think about it. Siblings compete, colleagues compete, even full-time house wives with no source of income compete. Haba!!! In most organizations, the award of contracts is competitive resulting in lowest bidder phenomenon. In one organization I worked, the competition among catering firms became so stiff that the lowest bidder rate was almost ten times lower than the company estimate. The result was, abysmally poor service. The contract was eventually cancelled. The more we compete, the less we gain.

As I close my thought, I agree that competition, like in sports, is good, we should however not be competing when it comes to life issues because amid all the human drama, people lose sight of what matters and focus on their rivals instead. No wonder the Bible says in 2nd Cor 10:12, 'They that compare themselves with themselves, are not wise.' The more we compete, the less we gain.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 18 June 2017

World's Best or World's Worst?

World Best or World's Worst?

I was thinking this morning...... about 'oscillation' as defined by my Hussey college Warri Physics teacher. He will say, 'Oscillation - the complete to and fro movement of a simple pendulum bob.' Trust me, it is not the grammar that caused the definition to stick, but the manner he said it. This definition popped in my head when I watched Kechi Okwuchi, one of the two Sosoliso plane crash survivors at the 2017 'America's Got Talent' show. Before she said a word standing before the audience, I was imagining what was going through the minds of the people. On a continuum of 'worst to best,' I am sure most people would have placed her close to worst for her looks. But after she told her story and sang her song, everyone was standing in ovation. The meter had shifted to 'best.' Their impression had oscillated. Hmm!!! Human beings!

I am thinking about the practice of qualifying people or things as the world best or worst. While referring to something or someone as the world best seems okay to me, I sometimes struggle with actually condemning a creation of God or man as being the world's worst because considerable amount of resources goes into creating anything. Recently, I became aware of how the FBI building in Washington DC was once dubbed the world's ugliest building. I am also aware that the aesthetically challenged Blobfish was named the world's ugliest animal. But until recently, I never knew there was anything like the world's ugliest colour, described as 'death,' 'dirty' and 'tar.' I was thinking, how can a colour be referred to as world's ugliest? I thought 'adding colour' to something is always positive. Think about it, if the ugliest colour in the world is used to paint the best mansion in the world, will it be the ugliest best mansion in the world? Abeg I am confused.
My emotions were still oscillating when I read of the world's ugliest woman. Why would anyone refer to God's creation as the world's ugliest when the bible says we were fearfully and wonderfully made? Though some comedians have given a negative slant to the adjective 'fearfully,' I do not think it is funny. Lizzy Velazquez was born in 1989 with a rare congenital disease that amongst other symptoms, prevents her from accumulating body fat. It is reported that she has 0% body fat, even though she eats up to 60 times a day. She was also diagnosed with Mafgan syndrome. Imagine that with all these 'wahala diseases' coupled with the unimaginable level of ridicule she goes through daily, she was in 2006 given the infamous award of the world's ugliest woman. What a world!

Think about it, how would you expect her to react? Hide, swear or cry? No, not Lizzy. Rather, like Kechi, she said 'The only way I could show those people that they weren't going to become my definition and my truth was to somehow make myself better.' Today, the world's ugliest woman is a seasoned motivational speaker and a self-professed 'pacer' while she speaks on stage. Velazquez catapulted to internet fame in 2013 when she gave a TEDx talk in Austin, Texas called 'How Do You Define Yourself?'

As I close my thoughts, I was thinking, how do I define myself? Like the Priests and Levites asked John in John 1:22, you too will be asked 'What do you say about yourself?' Kechi has defined herself after the plane crash, Lizzy Velazquez has answered the question, but truly, how do you define yourself, world's best or world's worst?

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 11 June 2017



I was thinking this morning..... about ceremonies. Birthdays, marriage and wedding. No, I am not thinking about getting married because that ship sailed over 15 years ago. Yes, birthday is somewhat on my mind, because it's my wife's birthday today. Where I sat at the beauty salon the other day, I saw a sign on the mirror that says 'For your events such as marriage, wedding, birthdays, naming ceremony and burial ceremony, call the DJ on 080x xxx xxx.' For some seconds I was trying to make sense of the difference between marriage and wedding ceremonies. In trying to do so, I asked my barber the difference between marriage and wedding as contained in the advert and he answered in pidgin English, 'you know say some people go do marriage and no go do wedding.' At that point I knew I was looking for snow in Warri on the sunny February afternoon.

The response of this young man exposed how confused so many are about the difference between marriage and wedding. For this group, traditional wedding is 'marriage' while the joining in church is 'wedding.' So for those of you that did only 'marriage' and did not do 'wedding,' you are on your own. Lol......

When I left the salon and sat in my car, the thought lingered. I wondered why anyone will not understand that wedding is the collective name used for all the ceremonies and rituals that take place to give social acceptance to the relationship between two people while marriage is the name of a lifelong institution, which starts after the wedding. I was thinking, If a typical Warri boy that was brought up to reason in pidgin English can understand this, why are some struggling?

As I thought to know why, I noticed that I had written 'beauty saloon' in the first paragraph and it didn't look right to me. I considered whether the right word should be 'salon' or 'saloon.' When I couldn't come up with a clear answer without calling a friend called 'Google,' I accepted that it will be hypocritical to blame my barber or the DJ that put the advert in his salon, for not knowing the difference between marriage and wedding.

With my tail inbetween my legs, I called my friend, Google and found out that saloon is a room or establishment where alcoholic beverages are served over the counter, while a salon (as in beauty salon) is a shop where hairdressers and beauticians work, and where people go to avail beauty treatments and other services. Saloon is also used to describe a type of car. A saloon in US means a sedan. I also discovered that salon and saloon have the same origin, and they come from French Salon meaning a large room. Why then are they confusing everyone with the extra 'o,' I had thought.

Having made peace with myself that I had not judged the barber and DJ, I decided it was time to go home. But wait a minute! Should I be going home or to my house? I know that house refers to a building in which someone lives, while a home can refer either to a building or any location that a person thinks of as the place where he lives and that belongs to him. At this point my confusion was spilling over and surely it's more than enough thinking for one day. As I thought on this, I was reminded of the admonition of Matthew 7:1, 'Judge not, that ye be not judge.' But as I run home or to the house, all I can say is 'Abe mi kin Orente O' even as we thank God for birthdays, wedding and marriage.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 4 June 2017



I was thinking this morning..... about an experience I had while in a commercial bus recently. While enroute, the driver was playing the music of Lucky Dube, the reggae music legend. I usually don't subscribe to such music because gospel music is my genre. However, when one of the more popular songs of the artiste filled the airwaves, I saw myself tapping my feet and shaking my head. Pronto, I silently screamed 'I bind it' and had a serious conversation with both my hands and feet, to the effect that they must behave. At that moment, I understood the song of the Nigerian gospel artiste Samsung that goes 'Turn me around, Make me wanna dance; Even though I nor wan dance; Body go dey move me.' As I pondered on what just happened, I recalled a statement I read in the book 'Zero to One' by Peter Thiel. He said, 'But It's hard to blame people for dancing when the music was playing.'

I decided to reflect on that experience. Yes, I understand that with a good meaningful and edifying music, one should dance, but I shudder at the fact that many are dancing to the music of death.
Think about it. In the years past, the eighties, when our leaders started killing our economy with the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), the 'Andrews' responded by checking out through the airports. But these days, with our economy battered by the recent past governments and made worse by the present government, that escorted it like chief bridesmaid into recession, many were thrown out of jobs and our youths are leaving in droves, not through the airports but through Libya and the Mediterranean sea. Thousands have died while trying to cross that deadly sea to Europe. As I was asking why, It occurred to me that there is a music playing and 'It's hard to blame people for dancing when the music was playing.'

If you frequently travel by road in Nigeria, you would have noticed some reactive developments. I noticed that between Warri in Delta state and Yenagoa in Bayelsa state, there are no emergency response service to attend to the injured in the event of road traffic accidents. With a high mortality rate from a combination of reckless driving and non-existent rescue service, the indigenes have set up multiple mortuary and embalming service (undertakers) stations along the route. The music of death was playing and they are dancing. 'But It's hard to blame people for dancing when the music was playing.'
In your office where it seems the management is not committed to the welfare of staff: the music is playing. At home, your spouse is behaving suspicious and annoyingly unromantic: the music is playing. The question is, are you dancing? There will always be music, some times the wrong music with wonderful beats, that may want to move you to the dance floor. I urge you not to be moved and please do not dance because Prov 1:10 says 'My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday, 21 May 2017



I was thinking this morning..... I checked into a small country-side hotel recently and found this notice by the shower, 'The building is of some age now and as such some of the pipe works are temperamental.' At this point I froze and looked around me to be sure I haven't already annoyed any pipe, not knowing what to expect. Having made sure there are no angry pipes waiting to knock my head, I continued reading, 'If your shower does not work immediately when turned on, then please turn on the sink tap or bath tap which will activate the water to the shower.' Phew!!!! How relieved I felt.

That statement got me thinking. So age can make the pipe works temperamental? No wonder!!! That explains why my internal pipe works have been behaving funny of recent. Eba (garri) was a meal I usually eat with delight until recently when after eating I couldn't explain the reaction of my body. 'What's going on here?' I had imagined. Now I understand that age had made my internal pipe works temperamental. My 'shower' was not ready to work immediately.

For many, it also explains why your legs and heart have been angry with you recently. The same legs and heart that will cooperate with you and you jog ten or more blocks some years ago, same legs and heart are now behaving like a man that recently lost his job . The legs have been surprisingly temperamental. The 'shower' was not ready to work immediately.

Think about it, you use to coast along when your babies or toddlers turn your house upside down. Now 15 years after, your friend came visiting with her children and they are messing up your living room. You are fuming inside, having that scorpion-in-the-stomach experience.... you know why? Age has made your 'emotional pipe works' temperamental. Your 'shower' has become cranky and not working as it should.

You joined your organization as a freshman, very alive and can sit in meetings all day long contributing to every presentation. Now you are a senior manager, struggling to keep awake at meetings after lunch and late on in the day. Hmm!!! Age has made your mind and eyes temperamental. Your 'shower' is failing you, so you may need to turn on the sink or bath tap to activate the water.

It has become clear that as we grow older, we may need to make deliberate effort to support our pipe works and activate the water because they may not function immediately they are called to action. But how you activate the shower to work differs from person to person. While at this small hotel, all I did was to turn on the sink tap and the shower gushed, I have decided to depend on the 'Master builder' to completely change out my pipe works, because Isaiah 40:31 says 'But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.'

Are your pipe works temperamental and your shower not working as expected, then turn on the 'divine help' tap to activate the flow.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 14 May 2017



I was thinking this morning..... we were watching the Stoke vs Arsenal match yesterday and with Arsenal leading 4:1, an Arsenal defender, Rob Holding gave the Stoke striker a bad shove and the commentator screamed, 'that is reckless, that is cheating.' And my co-in-law watching the match with me, added, 'that is corruption.' Hmm!! It got me thinking about lawlessness, corruption and the 'Comeycal Treatment.' Yes, we understand corruption and lawlessness but 'the lawlessness of corruption' and 'Comeycal Treatment' (thanks to Dagogo Buowari) are recent vocabularies gaining ascendancy. Oh, I remember the good old days while in secondary school. We kept a notebook of vocabularies, where we write new words we come across daily. Surely, 'lawlessness of corruption' would have made the cut and entered my book of vocabs.

Where did that term come from? I first came across it when I read the published statement of Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie titled 'Do we have a nation?' He had given a long list of disturbing indices in Nigeria and amongst the lot is what he called 'the lawlessness of corruption.' Hmm!!! 

I was thinking, how can corruption be lawless? If there is lawless corruption, could there be 'lawful corruption?' As I wondered, it occurred to me that when the citizens are involved in corrupt practices, it is corruption, but when lawmakers, law-enforcement agencies or the custodians of the law engage in corruption, then that is 'lawlessness of corruption.' Abi beko?

Reflect on this; The EFCC had busted a sister agency, the NIA, that stashed $43 million dollars cash in an unmarked private apartment at Ikoyi. Ehnhen, how is this case different from the Andrew Yakubu dollar-in-the-village case? The difference is while the Andrew Yakubu case is corruption, the NIA case typifies the 'lawlessness of corruption.'

Fast-forward a couple of weeks, the hunter became the hunted. The DSS, which is the chief internal security agency of the country leaked a story to the press to the effect that the EFCC may have been engaging in corruption. They said, 'It is sad to note that in the course of our investigation, we discovered that an agency, which is also saddled with an investigative authority, is rather creating a platform for criminal fugitives.' Hmm!! What more can this be if it is not 'lawlessness of corruption?'

The cycle was completed when the DSS itself, the chief hunter, was involved in a recruitment scandal, at which point I threw my hands in the air in submission.

As I made to end this frustrating line of thought on 'lawlessness of corruption' and how we have failed to react appropriately, I drifted to Donald Trump and his co-conspirators in government. They were being investigated by the FBI on the Russian connection, which to me, was looking like 'lawlessness of corruption.' Will the reaction be same as Nigeria? Hell No! Before the Senate could intervene, Don T. released the antidote - the 'Comeycal Treatment.' The FBI director, James Comey was sacked. Hmm!!!

Truly, it is a Babylonian world. So, whether in government circles or private sector, watch out for the 'lawlessness of corruption,' but before you react, think about the 'Comeycal treatment.' Nevertheless, do not despair for our nation, for though against hope, I still believe in hope (Romans 4:18).

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Roads, Merchants of Death and the Dillema

Roads, Merchants of Death and the Dillema
Roads, Merchants of Death and the Dillema

I was thinking this morning.... about the dilemmas we face on our roads. Last Sunday in Lagos as I was driving home along the Lekki-Epe expressway after a wonderful service, I observed an open-back commercial van used commonly in Lagos for carrying blocks, waiting to make a u-turn. Anticipating that he will make the turn not minding on-coming vehicles, I slowed down as I watched him justify the notorious reputation they are known for. He immediately turned into the road shoulder and with relief, I took my foot off the brakes and stepped on the accelerator. My mistake! 'Bang' followed by 'kpakishhhhkereeerraccchtluck.. ting..ting..ting" was the next event and sound I heard. The driver had immediately left the road shoulder, entered my lane and crashed into my car causing serious damage to asset. Thankfully, my young wife and I were unhurt. My question; 'what are these merchants of death doing on our roads?' It's a dilemma!

The incident brought back memories of how a former boss of mine lost his life when his saloon car ran under the famous 'agbegin lodo' truck, when the driver decided to make that satanically inspired u-turn. Again, I asked myself, what are these merchants of death doing on our roads? 

In my reflection, I found out, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, that there are 11.5 million vehicles in Nigeria with about 6 million of them being commercial vehicles. Wow!!! Six million vehicles and drivers with no regard at all for road safety. What are these merchants of death doing on our roads? it's a dilemma!

The USA has a total of 253 million vehicles with about 11.5m scrapped in 2014 alone. Trust me, more than half of that scrapped number ended up in Nigeria. Consider this, when we came out of our vehicles after the accident, there was no visible damage to the truck, but as for my car, the impact can be akin to the bashing an 'aje-butter' boy gets from a fight with a street child (or aje-kpako as they're referred to in Warri). Hmm!!! What are these merchants of death doing on our roads? It's a dilemma!

Shockingly, when the driver stepped out, he was cocooned in the smell of alcohol and hemp with a bottle of 'skian,' 'kparaga,' gin or whatever it was, in his pocket. Immediately, everyone around that witnessed the incident gathered and started pleading that I forgive the 'murderer' and not invite the police. I was thinking and did tell the crowd, if we always let these guys get away with their reckless behaviours, how will things change? But the biggest question to me was, 'what are these merchants of death doing on our roads?' It's a dilemma!

As I departed the scene that day, I recalled the words of 2nd Corinthians 1 vs 10 that says, 'Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.' As you go out today, watch out for these merchants of death and be circumspect. Collectively, we must chase them out of our roads and eliminate the dilemmas.

Happy Sunday.

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