Sunday 30 December 2018

Transition and the Fading Lines

Crossing Over
I was thinking this morning...... about transition and the fading line between. Days ago, my young wife and I were faced with the dilemma of attending two events back to back that require us to wear two different outfits and emotions. The first was a funeral service for one of the ordained workers in the church that went to be with the Lord at 56. The second was another ordained worker celebrating his golden jubilee on earth. Interestingly, the burial was for 10am and the birthday was 12 noon. How we are to transit from a countenance of sobriety to that of celebration within a minute was a challenge to us. Because there was not enough time for change of clothes, we decided to dress midway, combining black and some colours. As we departed from the graveside for the birthday party and settled at gaily decorated tables with lots of music, my thinking gear went into full throttle. Life is but a transition but the lines are getting blurry.

Think about it. There is a reason Ecclesiastes 7:2 says 'it is better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting.' Shouldn't there be a clear demarcation of emotions between burial and parties? I thought there should, but that line is fast fading, because what we now have is burial ceremonies converted to a big party and called 'Celebration of Life.' How do we celebrate someone's life in his absence? If you don't understand, go watch the Nigerian movie 'Chief Daddy,' now showing in cinemas.

Truly, the transition is getting blurred. When we went to school and you are done with Class 5, you either go for A-Levels or go straight to the University. The difference between college and University was very clear. Now, there are all sort of bridging or pre-university programs, that make the last year in college look like the first year in the University or the first year in University look like the last year in college. The transition is getting blurred.

In the political space, we should be expecting a major transition in 2019 because it is an election year in Nigeria. The incumbent should be on overdrive trying to fulfill promises made to justify a second term, while the opposition should have their sleeves rolled up working hard to win the hearts and minds of the masses. But we have been disappointed so many times in the past. The politicians care less, they need not campaign regarding any ideology nor fulfill promises made in the past. They know what to do. They whip up ethnic and religious sentiments and if that fails, they buy the votes of the people either in market places before the election or by sharing dollars on election day. There is supposed to be a clear difference between pre and post-election, but the transition is getting blurred.

In a couple of days, the curtain of 2018 will be rolled up and 2019 unveiled. Millions will be attending crossover services across the world, but is the purpose merely to cross over in time? As we transit from 2018 to 2019, please keep the lines solid, let the difference be clear. Don't enter 2019 with the same 'legbere' attitude with which you are ending 2018. Focus more in 2019; keep expectations high, pray more and achieve more.

Happy Sunday and New Year.

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

Sunday 23 December 2018

The Smell and Taste of Christmas

The Smell and Taste of Christmas
I was thinking this morning...... about the smell and taste of Christmas. What does Christmas smell like? Is it like fried turkey or like fresh flowers? I really do not know. As we walked back from lunch days ago, there was this gentle breeze on a dry, cool and slightly sunny afternoon. It was unlike the usual harmattan day. There was something different about this period, or so I thought. Just then, my colleague spoke out saying, 'why can't we have this Christmas season twice a year? Really? But what exactly does he mean by 'this Christmas season?' I queried within me. Could he be referring to the smell of Christmas?
As I got back to the office, I heard some colleagues discussing pay day. Is it the end of the month already? One said a sister company had paid their staff on the 15th, reminding me of the news I read recently that Cross River State paid their civil servants their December salaries by the first week in December. This can only happen because it is Christmas season. It must be why this season smells like Christmas.
After a long day at the office, I headed home with nothing else in mind but to take a shower and embrace my pillow. As I drove home, there was this glitz on the streets. Why is everywhere looking different? In Community neighborhoods in Port Harcourt, silver discs, flags and ribbons had been tied across the streets, while in the high brow areas flats and duplexes are adorned with decorative string lights, green wreaths, tinsels, snowman etc. What exactly is happening? Oh I see, it is part of the smell of Christmas.
As I observed people moving around, there seems to be some sense of urgency in their steps. Suddenly, flights out of town are fully booked and people are going on vacation like their lives depended on it. It seems like offices are shutting down. What is going on here? Could it be, a date has been fixed for the rapture? As I thought about it, I realized it was part of the smell of Christmas.
Oh as wonderful and breathtaking as the smell of Christmas could be, there are millions around us who will never taste Christmas and many to whom the taste of Christmas will not be great. I found out that just like Kale (vegetable) often smells fresh, but can taste bitter to people who have toxic taste buds, so is Christmas for many. The smell of Christmas is everywhere, but many around you, not so blessed with the basic necessities of life, will not taste Christmas. Oh, the taste of Christmas is in sharing and giving, without which Christmas will be just like Kale vegetables.
Christmas is not about activities but about giving. I recall a story I read years back of a woman that went to the market on Christmas eve for shopping. Everyone was in a frenzy for the last minute shopping and there was hardly an inch of ground to stand on because of the crowd. After shopping, she eventually pushed her way through the crowd and entered the bus very tired. As she took her seat and the bus set out, she took a deep breath and without thinking said 'whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be arrested and shot.' And in a soft voice, someone responded behind her, 'You need not worry ma'am because he was killed over 2000 years ago.'....Mark 10:45.
Christmas is here, everyone can smell it, but everyone will not taste it. So, ditch the activities, focus on the giving and share with someone so they can taste Christmas. But as you do so, keep an eye on January, so you won't be among those that will say January has 60 days. There will still be school fees to pay and children to feed after Christmas.
Happy Sunday and merry Christmas.
......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey. 

Sunday 16 December 2018

The Value in Sweat

The Value in Sweat
I was thinking this morning.... about the value in sweat. As we huddled at the departure lounge waiting to board our flight out of Lagos last Monday, some colleagues and I engaged in discussions of varied topics. Surprisingly, we were not discussing politics but family life. At a point, one of us from the South-West said he had a splendid weekend in his village where he made and ate 'sweat-generated pounded yam' and efo riro soup. The younger in our midst wondered why the emphasis on 'sweat-generated pounded yam' since the machine made poundo gives same value. Those that grew up in the village amongst us objected promptly explaining that the  sweat-generated, mortar pounded yam comes with a different texture and taste that is so yummy you just can't resist it. At this point I remembered Mark Cuban, an American businessman and investor, who had said 'Sweat equity is the best equity.'
Days later, as I thought about the sweat-generated pounded yam, I started to hunger for it but remembered that I was on a mission to reduce my stomach size. But what is the best way to reduce my belly fat? Should I sweat it off in high intensity exercise or I should go for those wonder tablets or juices that promise to blast my belly fat in a week? The wonder juice seems tempting but I would rather the more natural sweat-generating weight loss program. Recalling how refreshing it is to go under the shower after breaking a nice sweat, I concurred with the statement 'sweat equity is the best equity.'
Sweat equity is literally the best equity if you know what to do with the sweat you generate. Do you know that the normal human being sweats around 278 gallons (1,052 litres) each year? This is about 56 CWay bottles of water. This is a lot of water any way you look at it. No wonder a Swedish scientist created a delicious beverage machine that dispenses freshly secreted sweat. The 'sweat machine' works by sucking moisture out of sweaty clothing and purifies it enough to drink. Hmm!!! According to Spiff of 'The Johnsons' show, 'Boys thinking deep.' Truly, sweat equity is the best equity.
Funny, how so many people make so much effort to avoid sweating. They buy yam pounder and other machines to help, install air conditioning everywhere including kitchen and even use anti-perspirant. Haba, sweating is not a taboo. Interestingly, the fitter you are, the more you sweat. So the next time someone says you look sweaty, take it as a compliment. No wonder Jesus did not shy away from sweating as Luke 22:44 said 'And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.'
So, as we get into 2019, it doesn't matter whether you are pounding yam on mortar, working out or praying earnestly like Jesus, just make sure you generate your 278 gallons of sweat next year and if you don't know what to do with it, go to Sweden.
Happy Sunday.
......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday 9 December 2018


I was thinking this morning..... about Seventeen. I am not 17 years old neither is any of my children. Why then am I thinking of 17? Do you know that 17 is the number you're most likely to pick if you're asked to choose one number at random? Don't ask me how I know. It is proven. Just like 17 is the average of the first two perfect numbers, it could also make up a perfect couple. Yesterday makes it exactly 17 years since my young wife walked the about 17m aisle at St Andrews Anglican Cathedral in Warri to meet me standing before the altar from whence commenced our Blessed for Bliss marriage. We give God praise!

As I reflected on the significance of 17 years yesterday, with a heart full of thanks, I smiled when I found out that you need to use 17 muscles to make a smile. Hmm!!! In my deep thought, I didn't realize I was staring at the wallpaper on one side of the bedroom but seeing nothing. It all made sense when it occurred to me that there are 17 different ways a wallpaper pattern can repeat itself. Humorous God.

During these 17 years, 'my young wife' had been pregnant three times giving birth to our three lovely children. I was awestruck with gratitude to God when I realized that at 17 weeks of pregnancy, if you were to hold your baby, she would fit snugly in the palm of your hand. Wow! What an amazing God. It is easy to take for granted how great a grace you enjoy to be there when your child is born. I gave God praise when I found out a wild goose will accept as it parent whatever creature it sees within its first 17 hours of life. Great God!

Wow! Seventeen. I started laughing when I discovered that Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize at 17. Brazilian football legend Pele played in his first World Cup when he was 17. While I can't recall how many times I laughed yesterday, I found out that the average person laughs 17 times each day. I further gave thanks because unlike the French who have to dial 17 to call the police, I only needed Jeremiah 17:17 to call my God. Seventeen!

With 17 years gone, I did not suffer from heptadecaphobia (the fear of the number 17) like many, because when Jesus asked in Luke 17:17 'Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?' I showed up and screamed 'Thank you Jesus for 17 years of marital bliss.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 2 December 2018

It's A Lie!

Lying with the Truth
I was thinking this morning... about lying with the truth. How can the truth be a lie? I was at the DPR HSE Conference last Monday where everyone agreed that the truth of environmental degradation cannot be a lie. When it was time for lunch, we filled our plates and settled down to replace lost energy. Hardly had we taken our seats, when one of the delegates saw a long time acquaintance of hers. She walked briskly towards her, wide-eyed and shouted 'It's a lie.' Really? How can someone standing before you be a lie? Except of course she is implying that the person before her is a ghost. Hmm!!! Just an exclamation you will say, but it got me thinking.
I discovered that you can lie by telling the truth (referred to as palter) but you can't tell the truth by lying. Are you confused? Think about it. Generally, it is believed that if something is the truth, it cannot at the same time be a lie. A young man promised a lady that if she married him, he will make her sleep in all cities of the world. She happily accepted and they got wedded. On their wedding night, she was stunned to discover that the bed was laid with a bedspread of the world map with all the cities of the world boldly printed. She slept on all the cities of the world. Promised fulfilled. You can lie by telling the truth but can't tell the truth by lying.
Sometimes something can be so shockingly true that you wish it was a lie. Two weeks ago, the local news started reporting the attack by Boko Haram on the 157 Task Force battalion at Metele. My initial reaction was to watch the news with lugubrious 'corner-eye,' but when the Reuters news agency reported about 100 soldiers dead, I couldn't help but shout 'It's a lie.' Days later, Presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina was featured on Channels TV disputing the figure and saying that all over the world the military does not disclose casualty figures. The BBC and AFP journalists, Anna Cunningham and Phil Hazelwood immediately called him out for lying and providing evidence to the contrary that military releases casualty figures. As if to shame Femi, the Nigerian Army last Thursday released the casualty figures for the attack. At that point, it occurred to me that you can lie by telling the truth, but you can't tell the truth by lying.
The question is, why should anyone in the face of a stunning truth shout 'It's a lie' instead of 'It's a truth?' I found no answer apart from the fact that the exclamation was proudly Nigerian. I have decided that when faced with an unbelievable truth, I will henceforth shout 'Of a truth' instead of 'It's a lie.' No wonder Job 34:12 said 'Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the almighty will not pervert justice.' Remember, you can lie by telling the truth but you can't tell the truth by lying.'
Happy Sunday.
......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday 25 November 2018

Mental Disorder and Kolometer

I was thinking this morning...... about MPAN. I am not referring to Metering Point Administration Number which those in the UK can identify with and it is definitely not one of the National honors in Nigeria. What is it then? I will tell you in a minute. I was at Bida last weekend for the turbaning of a friend and colleague by the Etsu Nupe. At the palace of the Emir, well dressed dignitaries from across the nation sat in anticipation of the entrance of the Emir. While the palace guards were busy ensuring that invited guests took their rightful position in the already crowded court, the court jester was rapping away in a high but somewhat melodious tone that got the attention of everyone and in a language that oscillated between gibberish and fluent Nupe. After a series of random words and hailing, the jester made an unusual announcement that he was the king of mad men in Bida Emirate and as such deserved to be listened to. Really? Initially I scorned at his audacity to announce that he was king in the court of another king, but I quickly realized that his subjects are special. If that statement was made three weeks earlier, I would have dismissed it as a good joke, but juxtaposing his words with that of the Ministry of Health that three in ten Nigerians suffer from mental disorders, while everyone else laughed, I thought again. The jester was the chairman of 'Mad People Association of Nigeria (MPAN)' Bida branch.
You might be wondering if it is possible that we have so many 'mad people' in Nigeria. Mental disorder, according to World Health Organization (WHO), comprise a broad range of problems with different symptoms but generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behavior and relationship with others. And the Ministry of Health says over 50 million Nigerians may have mental disorder or what we call 'kolo mental' in Warri.
With this revelation by the Ministry of Health, 'kolo Nigerians' has suddenly become one of the most important demographic. I won't be surprised if I hear that MPAN is declaring its support for a particular candidate, after all Bus Conductors Association of Nigeria (BCAN) just did so recently. It will be wisdom for political office candidates to lobby this group with their over 50 million members.
You know, I have always wondered why people in anger will say 'I go craze for you today or you will see my madness today.' Now I know that they are among the 50 million Nigerians that are members of MPAN. What about the politicians that will embezzle the money meant to construct the road to his village and use the money to buy a big car that he can't drive home because there is no road? He should be contesting for the position of chairman of MPAN with the palace jester. You know, with all the cluelessness and outright disastrous leadership we keep having in Nigeria, I am beginning to suspect that this MPAN has been foisting the dregs of its lot on us as a nation to the disadvantage of the majority sane Nigerians. Now that 2019 beckons, the 150 million Nigerians without mental disorder must devise a means of checking that no member of MPAN is allowed into any leadership position in Nigeria. How can this be achieved? I suggest the use of a 'kolo-meter.' A meter designed to check the madness level of a man like a thermometer does. Anyone that can invent this meter will be an instant billionaire.
As I pondered on why there are so many people with mental illness, I remembered Jeremiah 51:7 that says 'Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord, intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk of her wine; Therefore the nations are going mad.' What are you drinking? If you are not sure of your status, use a kolometer.
Happy Sunday.
......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday 18 November 2018

Giving Corruption A Bad Name

Giving corruption a bad name
I was thinking this morning.... about giving corruption a bad name. In the midst of my very busy week, I sneaked into my twitter news page hoping for some news to muse about on Sunday morning. I almost regretted doing so because of the negative news that hit me. First was the Al-Jazeera news headline, 'Five Leading UK Banks Aided Corruption in Nigeria' and then another headline in Premium Times 'Documents show Buhari's govt illegally diverted N378 billion NLNG dividend' and yet another 'N5.5b NEMA Fund: Reps insist Osibanjo has case to answer.' Ahhh, is corruption the only major news on offer in Nigeria? Has corruption become our National anthem?

As I thought of ways not to think about corruption, I recalled a report during the First Republic, where an Italian with little knowledge about Nigerians went into a deal with some Nigerians. Not too long after, the deal went sour and the Italian was conned out. In disappointment, he cried out and said, 'Nigerians are giving corruption a bad name.' But how can one give corruption a bad name? Can corruption be corrupted? Only in Nigeria, I concluded. Dan Agbese, renowned journalist, former Editor-in-chief of Newswatch magazine and the author of the now famous 'Because of Cows' article, had attempted to explain and put the statement in perspective. He said that Nigerians are so corrupt that they cannot keep their end of a corrupt deal. Hmm!!!

As I thought about it, I recalled the Governor of Imo State, Anayo Rochas Okorocha (of the Iberiberism fame) and his plans to make Imo State his personal fiefdom like has never been seen in Nigeria. His plans, he goes to the Senate, his wife to the House of Reps and his son-in-law becomes the governor. Everything was rolling, until Oshio-baba decided to singlehandedly give the governorship ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma. According to DSS report, the governor and his son-in-law having had their lowest bidder bribe rejected, protested and kicked and finally accused the APC chairman of corruption and lacking internal democracy. Really? Mr Iberiberism, you, the giver,  accusing someone of corruption and lacking in internal democracy? Haba, why are you giving corruption a bad name?

Before I could clear my head, there was the controversy of the government spending N115,000 daily to feed El Zakzaky in prison. Na wa o! That is the minimum wage government is proposing for four persons in a month o. Abeg remember that I am speaking, or rather thinking off-record. I found out that the US government spends an average of N1,000 ($3) daily to feed a prisoner, yet we are spending N115,000 ($375) daily to feed one man. No wonder people have been volunteering to go to prison since the news broke. Would you blame them?

Can you believe that in America, the US president is given a bill at the end of each month for every meal his family eats in the White House? The President pays from his salary. yet, a Minister is telling us they feed one prisoner with N3.5 million (about $11,500) monthly. Haba Nigeria, why are we giving corruption a bad name? It is looking like when prophet Hosea in Hosea 9:9 said 'They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah,' he had Nigeria in mind. God will help us.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 11 November 2018

Legalizing the Absurd

Legalizing the Absurd
I was thinking this morning...... about legalizing the absurd. Yes about how we strive to change the natural course of life creations. What am I talking about? Last Thursday 8 November, I read the BBC news headline, 'Dutch man, 69, brings lawsuit to lower his age 20 years.' Yes, he took the State to court that they should approve his new age to be 49 instead of 69. He had argued that if one can change his name, one can change his gender, why can't someone change his age? Emile Ratelband had started the legal battle to legally change his age to boost his dating prospects.

When I first read the news, I initially wondered why it made the headlines, because reducing of one's age is a normal occurrence in Nigeria. All that is required here is to go swear an affidavit that you were born 20 years earlier and it will be admissible everywhere. I however realized that what we are doing is lying abut our age and this is not what Emile Ratelband is trying to do. Rather he wants a legal backing for this change. He is not saying he wasn't born 69 years ago, he is saying he wants to be 49 years old. How is that possible? How can someone take back the hand of time by 20 years? Let's say he succeeds in his lawsuit and they approve that he is now 49 years old instead of 69, will that reduce the age of his organs including his heart and brains? When death comes calling, will he command death to return 20 years later?

Oh man, we are really pushing the frontier. First, adults of their own free will (except for rape cases) engage in sexual activity and get pregnant and for 'some very good reasons' they want the pregnancy terminated. The case for abortion has been so argued that the lines of morality is now blurry to the point that the next generation will not know that abortion was once illegal. Today, it's been legalized in many nations. Then, against the natural course of creation, many nations are legalizing homosexuality. 'Adam and Steve' are now a couple. That was not enough and it was pushed further when gender change was legalized and Adam suddenly became Eve. Oh man, what exactly do we want? Where gender change has not been legalized, they are doing so clandestinely. That was the drama a few days ago when an Abuja man who was looking for sex, got the shock of his life when the partner he went home with turned out to be a 22-year-old man disguised as a woman. Oh man!

As I wondered what change we will be pushing for next, I await the outcome of the age change case with bated breath because I did not enjoy enough as a child and will like to reduce my age to 12 years. I want my parents to send me to the best school in Nigeria and take me on vacation to the Maldives yearly. After all if someone can change his mind, he can change his age. So goes the argument. But Prov 22:28 says 'Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set.' Like angry mobs, we are pulling down the ancient landmarks set by God and I see no different outcome from that of Sodom and Gomorrah. God help us.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 4 November 2018

Of Urinating and Natural Leaders

Lionel Messi as a Natural Leader
I was thinking this morning...... about the qualities of a leader. During an interview on Mexican television, Diego Maradona accused his fellow compatriot Lionel Messi of not being a natural leader for Argentina and urged his country to stop treating the Barcelona icon as a 'God.' He had said this about Lionel Messi, 'Someone who goes to toilet 20 times before a match cannot be a leader.' Really? I didn't know that the number of times one visits the loo is an indication of one's leadership abilities.

As I thought about it, it began to make sense. No wonder I did not get that job with the Multinational Oil Company early in my career. I was called for an interview and along with others, were placed in a waiting room. I recalled the room had two water dispensers strategically located within my line of sight. As I waited for my turn to be called in, I was drinking some water and visiting the toilet in turn to wee. By my assessment, I knew I did okay at the interview but I was not selected and wondered why. Now I know why. There must have been a CCTV camera where someone was positioned to count the number of times each candidate visited the toilet. They must have concluded that I am not a natural leader because I frequented the toilet. If I had known, I would have come fasting. Hmm!!!
But if the parameter for identifying natural leaders is the  number of times one visits the toilet, why have we been unfortunate to have disastrous leaders in Nigeria? Why can't we just put a camera on our potential leaders like they did the 'Gandollar' governor of the BabaringaMobileBanking fame, while they are in public functions, counting the number of times they visited the toilet and making the person with the lowest cumulative number of visits to the toilet our President? That will save us the N143 billion approved for INEC to conduct the 2019 election and we would avoid all the rigging and violence associated with elections in Nigeria. How I wish it was that simple.

According to the gospel of Diego Maradona, the number of visits to the toilet is the single most important KPI in picking a leader. If this is adopted, women will never be leaders because they tend to have smaller bladders and shorter urethras than men, so women are more likely to have problems with incontinence. Fact, but thank God Maradona's position is rubbish because being a natural leader has nothing to do with incontinence. A natural leader has social ability, self-confidence, assertiveness and boldness. They value the complementary skills and traits of others and surround themselves with people whose strength complement their own. That is what Messi has done that has kept Barcelona at the top for years. No wonder apostle Paul in 1st Cor 15:10 says 'I am what I am by the grace of God,' and not by the number of times I visit the toilet.
Abeg let me visit the toilet before I head to church this wonderful morning.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 28 October 2018

His Royal Youthfulness

Originating Honorifics
I was thinking this morning...... about originating honorifics. As I pulled out of my street onto the main road that early Thursday morning heading to the office, I turned on the radio to apprise myself of the day's news. There was a commercial break and the student wing of Ohaneze Ndigbo Rivers State was congratulating one of their own that has been appointed leader of the group. It sounded like the usual Nigerian notice-me, favour-seeking advert which I gave no attention until they announced, 'This is signed by His Royal Youthfulness blablabah.' I was like, seriously? Royal Youthfulness?

I smiled in disbelief, wondering how these young men could just formulate a new honorific and start using it on air without approval. Do they really understand what the 'Royal Highness' they have adapted to 'Royal Youthfulness' mean? In order to truly establish the emptiness of their action, I needed to first establish the origin of 'His Royal Highness (HRH).' I found out the term 'Royal Highness' was first used by the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in 1633 while traveling through Italy on his way to the Low Countries. On meeting Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy, he refused to address him as Highness until the Duke addressed him as 'Royal Highness.' Thus the first use of the style 'Royal Highness.' I was actually humbled by the finding and thought that if a mere mortal like Archduke Ferdinand of Austria could coin the term 'His Royal Highness,' what stops the youth wing of Ohaneze Ndigbo from instituting 'His Royal Youthfulness?'

As I paused to let the point sink in, I noticed an overflow of my mental juices and needed to savour it in order not to lose the value. With the first drop came the thought that we may have missed out on opportunities to put our names in the Encyclopedia or Wikipedia of Titles like Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Think about it; There are men's association in some villages where the strongest man is chosen as leader. Tell me, why can't the leader be addressed as 'His Royal Manliness?' See my point? There was another drop that reminded me of a group of unemployed job seekers that formed an association and selected a leader. Shouldn't the leader be addressed as 'His Royal Joblessness?'

The drops were coming faster now. I recalled the popular Palmwine Drinkers Club also known as Kegites Club in Nigerian Universities. I wondered why the head of any Ilya (branch) will be addressed as 'Chiefo' instead of the more honorable 'His Royal Drunkenness.' Sounded funny to me, but the smile on my lips soon disappeared when I thought about Nigeria political leaders. They embezzle the funds meant to build roads and hospitals for the masses, while they and their families go on vacation and medical tourism abroad, yet we address them as 'His or Her Excellence.' How misplaced. They should henceforth be addressed as 'His Royal Wickedness.'

As I made the final turn into the car park at my office complex, I imagined how I should be addressed since I am neither a politician nor a chairman of any association. A gentle smile returned as I remembered 1st Peter 2:9 that says 'But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.' On that strength, I concluded I should be addressed henceforth as 'His Royal Priestliness.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 21 October 2018

The Originality of Fakes

The originality of Fakes
I was thinking this morning...... about the originality of fakes. While having lunch midweek with some colleagues, fulfilling the parody of Matthew 18:20; Where two or three Nigerians are gathered discussing, politics is at the centre; a colleague of mine asked, 'Has anyone wondered how PMB has suddenly become healthy?' Of course I have no reason to have considered it, so I offered her a penny for her thoughts. And she dropped the bombshell, 'Are you sure the PMB we are seeing is the original?' Really? Are you implying he was cloned the last time he visited the UK for medical checkup? I have never heard anything so ridiculous, but it got me thinking. If her hypothesis is true, then I must commend the originality of the fake PMB. I immediately recalled the quote, 'Some people are real. Some people are good. Some people are fake, but some people are really good at being fake.'

As I thought on this, I recalled the viral videos of the Governor of Kano State Abdullahi Ganduje allegedly receiving bribes to the tune of $5 million from contractors in the State. When he was confronted with the videos of the sting operation, he denied it saying that it was a set up and like my colleague, implied that the person in the video was not the original. Some people are fake, but some people are really good at being fake. But in this case, that was a poor attempt at 'forming' fake.

You would have noticed that it is that season again when Nigeria politicians display their fakeness in very amusing ways. In this season, they stop by the road side to eat roasted corn with the masses, they dress in the traditional wears of the people they dislike the most and some will even enter the public transportation they've never used all their lives, just to show they are part of us. Really, Are they part of us? Abeg if you do run into any of these actors, ask them just one question, 'Are you the original?' Though some people are fake and some are really good at being fake, these ones have failed in 'forming' fake. We know their true nature.

Generally, we live in a world of fakers, doing one thing before everyone and another privately. But you know what? There is nothing good about being fake and there is a limit to which your fake life can take you. At the end of the day, there is a price to pay for being fake. Even Jesus cursed the fig tree for being fake - Matt 21:19. Truth is, there is no need being fake or being very good at being fake. Be real and many will love you as you are, warts and all, because even if you hide your real self from men, you cannot hide from God.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 14 October 2018

Who Dash Monkey Banana?

Who dash monkey banana?

I was thinking this morning...... about 2019 and why we are settling for less. As I was returning from church last Sunday, I stopped to buy a bunch of banana which was to partner jollof rice in an epic battle with my appetite. As I brought out N400 to make payment, wondering why it wasn't free, I recalled the made-in-Nigeria rhetorical question 'who dash monkey banana?' But where did that question come from? Why should anyone assume that if you saw a monkey with banana, it was a gift and the monkey didn't work for it? I wondered. I had read one explanation on social media where it was said that the Banana tree is the only tree the monkey cannot climb. As such, for any banana you see with a monkey, it didn't take its personal effort to get, it was given to it. Hence the saying 'who dash monkey banana?' Hmm!!! Though the position sounds so plausible, I was curious and decided to confirm if it was true.

I confirmed it is not true monkeys can't climb Banana trees. Banana tree is not as slippery as it has been made out. The pseudostem of a Banana plant will always have some dry sheaths which will act as non-slippery hold. Moreso, monkeys can hold with their toes, because their soles are more flexible like those of some birds who use them to hold branches. So monkeys can climb Banana trees and pick the fruits itself, and don't need anyone to 'dash' it. Why do we accept just any statement or report as true or accept whatever token handed us, when we can work to get something better? Intellectual laziness or I guess we are thinking, 'who dash monkey banana?'

I also wondered why most people believe banana is the fruit the monkey love best.  Why can't we ask 'who dash monkey grapes?' or 'who dash monkey chin-chin?' or even 'who dash monkey kpekere?' We have grown up believing the only food monkeys eat is banana, but is it true? It's a myth. I found out the entire wild monkey-banana connection is a total fabrication. Scientific studies of the diets of primates revealed wild monkeys never encounter bananas at all ever unless they are around human habitation where bananas are or have been planted. Another study revealed that monkeys prefer grapes to banana. So, there goes the saying 'who dash monkey banana?' Bursted!!!

To me 'who dash monkey banana?' is a derogatory slang meaning you can't get the best you deserve. You resign yourself to fate, expecting a 'dash' because you are telling yourself you can't make it, thinking 'who dash monkey banana?' it is exactly this mindset most Nigerians have regarding the forth coming 2019 presidential election. In spite of the fact that we have a field of very competent aspirants, most people, especially the e-rats of the elite-dominated two major political parties have been fighting over who amongst the two worst candidates will be president in 2019. Why can't we see beyond the old non-performing or corruption-tainted aspirants and stand up for any of the other competent hands that we know can take Nigeria out of the woods? No, we will not, because we are thinking 'who dash monkey banana?' Truth is, if the monkey can climb a Banana tree to pick the fruit and not wait for a 'dash,' you too can get the best you deserve. No wonder Philippians 4:13 says 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' So, yes, we can get the best and if you must ask the rhetorical question, ask 'who dash monkey grapes?' or who dash monkey kpekere?'

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

Sunday 7 October 2018

Herpes and Dyslexia

Dyslexia Awareness Month
I was thinking this morning...... about Herpes (pronounced as 'hur-peez') and Dyslexia. It's been over 25 years since I left the university where I studied Microbiology. So you will pardon me when I had to ask Google for information about Herpes. I was reminded that Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a common virus that causes sores on your genitals and/or mouth. Herpes can be annoying and painful, but it usually doesn't lead to serious health problems. Herpes is a super-common infection that stays in your body for life and the chances are a few people you know are living with Herpes.

But why this research about Herpes? When all the news about Nigeria centered around politics and killing in Jos, I decided to go watch a movie this past weekend and settled for the American comedy 'Night School' starring Kevin Hart as Teddy Walker. In the movie, Teddy was assessed to be suffering from a number of learning disorders including dyslexia, dyscalculia and various processing issues. In shock, Teddy Walker exclaimed that he has 'Learning Herpes.' Why he decided to compare his disability with Herpes is still unclear to me, but I suspect it is because the condition will stay with him for life just like Herpes. Hmm!!!

After the movie, I couldn't help but reflect on the term 'Learning Herpes' and how we treat kids with this disability in Nigeria. Children with dyslexia have trouble reading accurately and fluently. They may also have trouble with reading comprehension, spelling and writing. Dyscalculia on the other hand means the child has difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic or numbers. Such a child in Nigeria will be called dumb and 'olodo.' If the parents are rich, they will engage seven extramural teachers to 'force' the book into his head, but if he is from a poor home, too bad. They will 'flog' the book into his head. Oh how we torture our kids because we do not understand their learning disability. God will help us.

As I dug deeper, I fished out a parallel with recent happenings. This past week was a festival of political primaries, which turned out to be nothing but a sad reflection of our democracy. Votes buying, imposition of candidates, the reign of god-fatherism and violence. When I recalled that this has been our lot since independence, the only prognosis I could come up with is that we may be suffering from 'Political Herpes' that is causing painful sores in our body polity.

Carry out further physical tests of marriages around you, with symptoms such as infidelity, domestic violence, trust-deficiency and you will diagnose 'Marital Herpes.' Send for laboratory analyses of our economy with foreign reserves dropping, bearish run of the stock market and a weak naira. The prognosis is nothing but 'Economic Herpes.'

Though these malaise are annoying and painful like Herpes, looking like it's going to kill us, I am confident that we will overcome them because the Bible says in John 11:4 'This sickness will not end in death.' But should your child be struggling with reading, spelling or numbers, do not call him names or make him the joke of the family. Assess him for learning disability and support him to overcome. As we celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Month this October, please help a child overcome the challenge of dyslexia and dyscalculia today.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 30 September 2018


I was thinking this morning.... about drowning. God forbid (with my right hand making a circle round my head and my fingers snapping in front), I am not thinking of drowning myself, I am only thinking about the incident of drowning, and for good reason too. This was so when I read the screaming headline in the Vanguard Newspaper, 'Lamentations as flood hits 400 communities, 44 dead.' As I read the details of how communities in Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, Niger and Kogi were devastated by floods, I shook my head in sorrow wondering why there should be so many lives lost to flooding, not hurricane or tsunami. As I got lost in hypnotic trance wondering how the warning to Nigerians living by the banks of River Niger and its floodplains to relocate was not heeded, I was jolted back by the words of an affected resident in Rivers State that he wasn't going to vacate his flooded house because he is afraid that his properties will be looted by hoodlums before he returns. Oh, at this point I remembered the words of Dr Zig Ziglar that 'You don't drown by falling into water; you only drown if you stay there.'

But why will anyone remain in the flood until they drown? Why can't they take themselves out? When I read that the flood also took toll on the dead as copses were washed up from graves in Ofu local government area of Kogi State, I can understand because a copse cannot run from flood but why will a living man remain in the flood until he is drowned? Oh Zig Ziglar is so spot on when he said 'You don't drown by falling into water; you only drown if you stay there.'

Someone might argue that our national emergency preparedness is appalling, saying 'I tire for Nigeria. If we have emergency responders in those villages, the deaths could have been avoided.' Well maybe so, or so I thought until I read how 31-year-old Jerome Moody died in a pool party organized by lifeguards in New Orleans, Louisiana to celebrate a summer where no one had drowned at any of the city's pool. How can anyone drown in a party organized by lifeguards? Some will say it is home trouble, but I know he did not drown by falling into water, he drowned because he remained under.

Please don't say those involved are suicidal. You are a loving husband and father and father and will never deliberately want to hurt your loved ones. You traveled out of town with some colleagues and in the evening after the meeting, your friend and colleague organized a party where 'comfort battalion' were invited without your knowledge. You were persuaded to attend and you oblige in the innocency of your heart. Before you knew it, the flesh failed you, you found yourself in the laps of a strange woman. You have fallen into water. If after the 'flood' you decided to give that colleague of yours 'diplomatic space,' you would have done well, but if you remain hand-in-glove with him, then I can only remind you that 'You don't drown by falling into water; you only drown if you stay there.'

We have been experiencing a flood of electoral manipulation for so many years. The ruling party since independence has always been accused of manipulating the electoral umpire and security agencies. Everyone knew we will drown unless we swim our way out and the Ekiti and Osun elections were like lifeboats. Instead of saving ourselves, we chose to remain in the flood of electoral manipulation and it is drowning us as a nation. Proverbs 24:16 says 'For a just man falls seven times and rises up again.' As we celebrate our 58 Independence Anniversary tomorrow, we need to rise up from the flood before we drown as a nation.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 23 September 2018

This Man Was Born There

This man was born there
I was thinking this morning.... about your place of birth. Were you born here or there? While you can't determine where you are born, you can influence where your children are born. It is a widely held view that the prayer point of most Nigerian parents is for God to bless them enough to have their children in America, Europe or Canada because, apart from the very high chance of the child surviving due to advanced medical care, the baby will be registered as a citizen of that nation, particularly for USA. Most parents want their children to have the green card because the US government will go to any length to protect its citizens all over the world. No wonder, as at 2016 there were over 360,000 Nigerian Americans living in the US. But hang on, before you start planning to have another baby, be aware that it cost between $10,000 and $30,000 or even more depending on whether there are birth complications, for a Nigerian resident to have her child in the US. In spite of that, many couples are saving for this option because they want their child 'to be born there.'

I have realized that where your child is born could influence the success of that child tomorrow. I have so many friends and relatives that their children are studying in some of the best schools in America and Europe because 'they were born there' and therefore do not have to pay the cut-throat fees stipulated for international students. Also, because they have dual nationality, they have double opportunity and can compete for jobs in both countries, just because 'they were born there.'

Okay, I can understand why 'being born there' is pivotal to influencing opportunities outside Nigeria, but can't understand how we have taken the concept of 'being born there' to a whole new level in Nigeria. Until recently, when appointments are made in Nigeria, many people will give a perfunctory consideration to the state of origin of the appointee but now, if there is any federal appointment, it is followed by a vibrant debate about where that person was born.

Following the sack of the erstwhile DSS DG, Lawal Daura, President Buhari on the 13th of September approved the appointment of Yusuf Magaji Bichi as new Director-General of DSS. Immediately, there was fierce attack on PMB, that he had removed the acting DG, who is from Bayelsa State and replaced him with someone from Kano State. The narrative was not about career nor competence but that 'this man was born there.' Then a couple of days later, Kemi Adeosun resigned as a result of the NYSC-gate and a new Finance Minster in the person of Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed was appointed sparking another round of debate that 'this woman was born there.'

It got me thinking that the way we are going, some people will start strategizing for their children to be born in the section of Nigeria where they think they will have an advantage. How can we be one people and be focusing on 'this man or this woman was born there?' Why should any government be feeding the narrative of sectionalism or ethnicity? Why can't we appoint people irrespective of where they were born in Nigeria? We are short changing ourselves.

To me, it is least important where on this planet my children are born. What matters is to whom they are born. Your son may have been born in Hangzhou, in one corner of China and end up being a great entrepreneur and the richest man in China like Jack Ma (Founder of Alibaba.) Or your daughter could be born in a coal city like Enugu, but yet grow up to be a very successful and sought-after woman like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is making Nigeria proud on the global scene. It is what God puts in your child and what you, as a parent grow in them that matters and not because 'they were born there.' No wonder Psalms 87:4c & 5 says '...This man was born there. And of Zion, it shall be said, This and that man was born in her.' I am certain that our making is in the kingdom and not because 'we were born there.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 16 September 2018

Couples, Closeness and the 'and-co' look

And-co Dressing
I was thinking this morning.....about couples, closeness and the 'and-co' look. While chatting with a friend on our way back from lunch last Monday, he mentioned that the wife was taking him out that evening in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. being together for 25 years is no mean feat. As my friend spoke, my mind played back and recalled the gist of past conversations I have had with him about his social outings and connecting the dots revealed he was most times with the wife at these outings. It was obvious that you hardly can separate my friend from his wife in the social space.

As I smiled at their time-tested relationship, I remembered an incident that occurred in my early years of working as a contractor personnel in one of the Multinational Oil Companies in Warri. I had this boss then that work so late that real work, for him, starts after 5pm. he was feared by everyone for his bullish approach to work. he will work till about 10pm before closing for the day. One evening, a colleague of mine, named Wale, had to leave at about 6pm. Not long after, the boss came out from his closed office looking for Wale and hoping to get a vital information from him. Wale, unfortunately had closed for the day. He screamed, 'Where is Wale? Get Wale for me. Look for him everywhere. If you can't get him, get his wife. If the wife shows up, he will show up.' We all were like, albeit in hushed tones, 'Really? Does his wife now work for you?

Funny though, but my boss probably knew that outside the office, if you see Wale's wife, then Wale is not far off. The whole episode got me thinking about how close I am to 'my young wife.' How much time do I spend with her? Can someone assume that if you have seen me, you have seen my wife? Hmm!!! It seems couples are more and more drifting from being hand-in-hand to individuality, and many reasons can be adduced. But ask yourself, when last did you wear 'and-co' with your spouse? In Warri, when a couple dresses in matching outfits, it is called 'and-co.' By the way, 'and-co' means 'And Company.' While 'Aso-ebi' is for a group, 'and-co' is for a couple. In South Korea it is called Kou-peul look. If you ask me sha, I would rather favour a coordinating outfit rather than 'and-co' because matching outfit makes you look like two members of a sports team or traditional choir group.

The question is, when you are out with your spouse for an occasion , do you dress 'and-co' or in a coordinating outfit, go in the same car and lock hands while walking? While for some, the score will be one or two out of three, for many it is zero, because they love their individuality and enjoy the company of themselves.

It may seem that those that scored zero are not proud of their spouses. Maybe and maybe not. For some couples, they are at their best when away from their spouses. They like to fly solo both socially and spiritually. I know of a man and woman in church that for years I never knew were a couple. They come to church in different cars and at different times and sit in different section of the auditorium. Don't get me wrong, their relationship is stable but just that they like doing their own things. Their individuality when in public is deep and I wonder why.

I have realized that many couples, rather than spend more time with their spouses, are now living in splendid isolation. From experience, I know it is bliss to be closely connected with your spouse to the point where, like my former boss thought, wherever and whenever you appear, your spouse is by your side or not far away. No wonder Jesus said in John 14:9, 'Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?' Please, to every 'Philip' around me, be informed that if you have seen me, you have seen my wife and vice versa. For now, it's time to head to church with my wife in the same car not dressed in 'and-co' but in a coordinating outfit.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 9 September 2018

Happy School Fees Week

Happy School Fees Week
was thinking this morning..... about school fees. For the better part of last week, the most common greeting was 'Happy New Month.' Some time ago, a colleague of mine had expressed worry about this current fad of wishing people 'Happy New Month.' He considered it an unwelcome extension of the 'Happy New Year' greetings. He is worried that soon, it will extend to 'Happy New Week' and 'Happy New Day.' Since I have been ending my weekly write ups with 'Happy Sunday,' it should be obvious to all that I will have no problem with whichever way anyone choses to greet, as long as it stays positive. However, one emerging greeting that I still can't wrap my head around is 'Happy School Fees Week.'

Tomorrow, our children of school age will be returning to school after about two months of being at home for summer holiday. For some, these past two months have been very difficult because they have had to manage the excesses of the kids, a role that they are very happy to hand over to teachers and house parents in boarding houses from tomorrow. While many are happy that schools are resuming, they are, on the flip side, wondering how to raise the money to pay the school fees of their children. Someone might say, 'why should anyone struggle to pay the school fees of his children, afterall, it is not an emergency? They should cut their coat according to their material.' Hmm!!! You might be right.

While it is true that some can afford to send their children to Children's International School (CIS), Lekki Lagos, where you have to pay an acceptance fee of N2 million and yearly tuition of N2.5 million for nursery and N3 million for primary school, there are many who can't afford the N10,000 for some private schools. Yes, there are many that have no stress whatsoever to pay between N5 million and N7.5 million per year for their son or daughter to attend college at CIS or BIS (British International School) Lagos, yet some can't afford to buy school bags or books required for their kids to attend the free public schools.
Don't kid yourself, not everyone with children in public schools will be able to afford what is required to send the children back to school tomorrow. It is not about the fees but about your financial condition and consioucs planning. Only yesterday, Iread about the youthful looking traditional ruler of  Oke Ila Orangun, Osun State, Oba Adedokun Abolarin saying, 'The fear of children school fees has made me not to seek more Oloris.' Think about it, if the rich are afraid of school fees, why does the less privileged care less by having too many children than they can afford to train? Your guess is as good as mine.

Tell someone that can afford it, 'Happy School fees Week,' and he will say 'thank you,' but tell a parent that is yet to pay the fees of his children same and he will give you that look that the lame man gave to Peter and John in Acts 3:5. I imagined whether it really will be happy for many parents. According to UNICEF, Nigeria still has 10.5 million out-of-school children (the highest in the world), with 60% of that number in the north. While UNICEF acknowledged that Primary school enrolment has increased in recent years, they also said that many of those that enrolled will drop out of school early. Why do you think that is? Methinks, it is because many parents do not plan for the next tranche of school fees and some gamble with it. They wait until it has become an emergency. Imagine the new yesterday of one William Williams that won N9.7 million on sports betting platform BetKing. While celebrating, he said 'BetKing has contributed to paying my children school fees this session.' really? So you have to gamble to pay school fees? Hmm!!!

However, there are many that don't gamble and believe me, they planned, but hings did not just add up and they are in a dilemma. Their kids may drop ouot of school because they can't afford the school fees. Hence I see 'Happy School Fees Week' as a soothing prayer for all those sending their children back to school tomorrow. 

If you have no issues with school fees this season, wish someone Happy School Fees Week. But as you do so, take it one step further by really helping a struggling parent to be happy by paying the fees of his/her child or buy a school bag or books for a child. Or as a minimum, you can buy a pack of pencils and give to indigent children. Whatever it is, just make the week a happy one for parents sending their children back to school tomorrow. Psalm 41:1 says 'Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.'

Happy Sunday and Happy School Fees Week.

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

Sunday 2 September 2018

The Smell of Pride

I was thinking this morning..... about the smell of pride. If asked to describe the smell of pride in one word, what would it be? While most people would think of words like noxious, purulent, putrid, sour, stale and even mephitic, I doubt if anyone will associate pride with fragrance.

Well, last week as I tried to update myself on what is happening politically, I read the statement of ex-President Obasanjo where he had tweeted 'In the past few days, I have received several politicians in my home including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Ibrahim Dankwanbo regarding how to take Nigeria back to the path of greatness in 2019. Even though some people think I am no longer relevant, 'na dem dey rush us'" Then, a few days ago following the visits of UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bayo Omoboriowo (the chief official photographer of President Muhammad Buhari) had sad on BBC News Pidgin 'Lifeless, lifeless, but na dem dey rush Buhari.'

It immediately occurred to me that, that wasn't the first time I was reading the phrase 'Na dem dey rush us.' As a matter of fact, I have been seeing it in social media of recent but never bothered to dig until now. Where exactly did that phrase come from? I found out that 'Na dem dey rush us' was a phrase used by Charles Onojie (popularly known as Lucky Johnson of The Johnsons comedy soap) in a movie. He had said while hitting on a lady, 'Fine boys like us, we no dey too follow women like that. Na dem dey rush us.' Since then, 'Na dem dey rush us' has gone viral. Trust Nigerians in the social media space.

While pondering on why OBJ will use a social media slang to make a serious political point, I realized that any time I am tempted to jokingly say 'Na dem dey rush us,' something reminds me to think again. Why? The phrase to me looks like pride soaked in fragrance. Dem dey rush you today, what about tomorrow? 

Think about it. We say this regularly, but maybe not with the same words. You are young, enterprising and savvy and employers are falling over themselves to head-hunt you. On one occasion, you received offer letters from four different multinational companies. You went to church to testify and you were tempted to say, albeit in your own words 'Na dem dey rush me.' Selah (pause and think), it might be pride masked with fragrance.

Your child is done with secondary school and after taking the final exams, many Ivy League universities within and outside Nigeria have granted him admission. You are so proud of his performance that while speaking to your friends, you are tempted to say 'Na dem dey rush us.' Hold back and think again, it might be pride covered with fragrance. Just be humble and be thankful.

Before you use the phrase 'Na dem dey rush us' remember that there are many that are not being rushed, not because they are any less than you are but because they have not been so favoured. So, why don't you see yourself as a receiver rather than an achiever. 1st John 2:16 says '
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.' My prayer is that we shall not fall into the error of pride that is masked with fragrance. For now, let me start going before someone will call me 'lifeless.'
Happy Sunday.

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