Sunday 29 April 2018

Wife, Relationship and Gender Equality

I Value Relationship
I was thinking this morning...., about Wife, Relationship and Gender Equality. Recently, the wife of a good friend celebrated the award of her Ph.D with a testimony of how God saw her through. She concluded by saying, 'This is that ordinary sister now being referred to as Engineer, Dr (Mrs).....' I smiled because I could feel the value of the 'Mrs' in the titles.
During the September 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, popularly called the Beijing Declaration, it was agreed to address the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere. Since then I have given the declaration all the support I can because I believe we all are equal before God and should not be treated differently.
However, it may seem the struggle for gender equality is being used to advance some esoteric cause. This much I felt when I read the headline, 'Chimamanda Adichie upset with Hillary Clinton's 'Wife' bio.' Chimamanda had told Hillary during an interview, 'In your Twitter account, the first word that describes you is 'wife.' And then I think it's 'Mom,' and then 'Grandmother.' And when I saw that, I have to confess that I felt just a bit upset. And then I went, and I looked at your husband's Twitter account and the first word was not 'Husband.'
I really don't understand why she was upset that Hillary put 'wife' before any other achievement of hers. Was Chimamanda expecting her to put 'Husband' or maybe 'Equal?' If you are not interested in being a wife, then why get married? I understand that Chimamanda is married but prefers to be addressed as 'Miss.' That's her prerogative. I also know that she never dropped her maiden name neither did she attach her husband's name to it. That's also her cup of tea.
But I find it sad to question what people hold dear to them. if I decide to hold my status as 'husband' dear and above all else, please don't 'beef' me, just hold your career or whatever else you value. I was extremely glad when I read the response of Hillary. She had said, quoting Barbara Bush, 'At the end of the day, it won't matter if you got a raise, it won't matter if you wrote a great book, if you are not also someone who values relationships.'
I value relationships and would rather define myself using husband, father, brother, pastor and friend rather than define myself with my personal accomplishments such as doctor, author etc. Like they say, we are only receivers and not achievers. There is nothing we have that we didn't receive from God.
Methinks that being a wife does not make you less equal with the man, otherwise it won't be long before another woman will challenge the value of having the 'wo' as the first letters in 'Woman.' In the same line, not being a wife or mother does not make you less of an accomplished woman, but it is the relationship you have that trumps them both.
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday 22 April 2018

The Inferiority Complex of Nigerian Youths

I took time to brood on those words by Prof. Osinbajo and came to agree with him. I solemnly agreed that the youths need to learn about the superiority complex of the political class and what makes them talk like they have captured lightening in a bottle.
First the youths need experience from the political class, who are the leaders today and deserve emulating. Initially, I thought the training given by 'the Adedibus' of the past political dispensation on 'Amala Politics' was sufficient, but Prof. Osinbajo says they need more training. Yes, the youths need training on how to organize a crack team of five men, break into the fortified hallowed chambers of the National Assembly and remove its symbol of authority, the mace in spite of the Police, DSS and other agencies providing security at the complex. Because it takes rare skill to achieve this, they will need training from the master himself, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC Delta Central), before they can be ready to lead.
It will not be enough for the youths to learn from the political class only, they will need to learn from the academia as well. They need training on what to ask in return when Nigerians start asking for one favour after another. They need to be trained by no other than the Professor Emeritus on Bargaining Skills, Prof. Richard Akindele of OAU, who for a request by Monica Osetobe Osagie to increase her score from 33% to a B or C demanded five rounds of sex in return. He said, 'Let's have the first one today and then we do another tomorrow. Is our agreement not five times?' The youths definitely need this training to be effective negotiators as leaders.
As Prof. Osinbajo was giving his advise, the news broke of Olamide Samuel, a Nigerian youth aged 25, who recently made history as the first African Ph.D holder in National Security Strategy, which he got from the University of Buckingham, UK. But I agree with Prof. Osinbajo that he needs training from the Nigerian Police and other security agencies before he can lead. What does he think he knows about security strategy? He needs to learn from the experts on how they have secured Benue, Taraba and other states in the North Central that no one has been killed in the last couple of years. Please don't tell me the youths don't need the training before they can lead.
One thing I know is that in spite of the shameful examples our leaders have been setting, the Nigerian youths have been in training all their lives and know all it takes to lead, but have chosen to make themselves inferior to the current political class. Job 13:2 says 'What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.' The earlier the youths realize this, the better for Nigeria.
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Scoring a Goal

Scoring a goal
I was thinking this morning... about achieving goals. The much anticipated second leg Champions league matches between Liverpool and Manchester City, Barcelona and Roma and Real Madrid and Juventus were simply breathtaking. Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid all went into the second leg with a three goal advantage, meaning it will only take a miracle for their opposition to overturn the deficit.
Against all odds, Roma did the magic, Real Madrid was given the biggest fright of all their European life and as for Liverpool versus Manchester City, when the match finally began, within two minutes, Manchester City had scored and their fans were optimistic that they will overcome the odds. Thy battled the for the next 43 minutes without the ball finding the net of their opponent. At this point, the commentator said, 'the most difficult thing to do in a football match is to score a goal.'
Initially the statement seems like a no-brainer to me, but as I thought about it, I realized it was simple but profound. I wondered why it was easier to score in a basketball game than football even though the basket is a lot smaller than the goal post. If you are outside and watching a football match, you wonder why they can't just kick the ball through the post considering the goal keeper is less than 20% the area of the post. But when you are in, then you will agree that 'the most difficult thing to do in a football match is to score a goal.' It is not the dribbling, throwing or kicking the ball towards the goal, it is putting the ball into the net that is most difficult.
I recalled in October 2014, when Nigerians were bemoaning the paltry electricity we generate, Babatunde Raji Fashola had boasted that it was not rocket science to generate electricity and that if given the opportunity he will double generation in 6 months. Everyone believed this man can capture lightening in a bottle and was willing to give him a chance. Fashola was vigorously warming up by the side, eager to get into the pitch. When he eventually went into the field of play in 2015 as Super Minister in charge of Power, Housing and Works, everyone expected instant performance like Mo Salah or Ronaldo, but three years on, he has since realized that 'the most difficult thing to do in a football match is to score a goal.'
I have discovered that life is like a football match. You sometimes see an empty post ahead of you, you dribble like Messi, huff and puff like Buffon, you can even have the best player like Ronaldo in your team, but you still discover that the most difficult thing to do in a football match is o score a goal. Scoring is difficult because there is an opposition with no other job than to prevent you from scoring. Sometimes, without opposition, you can be calamitous in front of goal like Arsenal strikers (apologies to Arsenal fans) or Raheem Sterling's miss-of-the-season in Manchester City's 1-1 draw at Burnley, justifying the saying that the most difficult thing to do in a football match is to score a goal.
On this day, my prayer is that you will score all the life goals you have been praying and working so hard to score, because Psalms 108:13 says, 'With God on our side, we will win.'
Happy Sunday.
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

Sunday 8 April 2018

The Exploits of Monkeys

Exploit of Monkey
I was thinking this morning .... about monkeys. While growing up in Warri, we usually will play football in the smallest of open spaces in our compound with goal posts that we call 'monkey posts.' I never thought for a moment why it was called 'monkey post.' Why was it not called 'dog post' or 'pussycat post?' No one explained the reason why.

As I grew up and got more educated, I started wondering why most phrases about monkeys always depict something negative. I however began to see reason after recent news on the exploits of monkeys. It started with the story of how Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa-APC) was removed as chairman Northern Senators Forum, when he couldn't account for N70 million belonging to the group, claiming the money was carted away by monkeys in a farm house. Then last Monday, I read the news of a monkey in India snatching a 16-day-old baby and dropping the baby in a well. While still digesting the news, I read another news headline in the Daily Trust on Tuesday 3rd April that 'Monkeys now steal food in Lagos Community.' I had questioned, 'what is annoying these monkeys that they are stealing foods, money and babies? Is there recession in the forest as well?' These monkeys are really audacious, no wonder they are having it tough in English Language. Generally, in English, being called a monkey or invoking one connotes silliness or foolishness,  but can also mean aggravation, environmental terrorism and cold.

As I pondered on the exploits of monkeys and their place in English, I recalled a recent experience I had while waiting at a DHL office in Lagos to process a document. A service that should otherwise take less than 5mins per person took much longer due to inefficient staff. After waiting for  over 4 hours and many more customers coming in, there were over a hundred of us cramped in a small hall. As I wondered why no one was ready to leave in spite of the unacceptable condition, it dawned on me that we were in a type of 'Monkey house.' Monkey house has been used as a slang for prisons.

In my frustration, I decided to read the news and was unlucky to be presented with the stupid jaw-jaw between APC and PDP on who the looters of our commonwealth are. How can our sensibilities be so insulted by these politicians because another election is by the corner? Left to me, all of them will be cooling off in jail. As I wondered why Nigerians have to be subjected to this level of stupidity by politicians, I realized that they are all involved in 'Monkey business' (fooling around or any form of mischievous behavior.) Considering that out of the 24 APC governors today, 22 of them were members of PDP that ruled in the last 16 years, and 20 former PDP governors are now leaders in APC, I will be a monkey's uncle to believe that APC is different from PDP.

Trust me, I am tired of monkey stories and I beg you to be forthright and not behave like the typical Nigerian politician, because Proverbs 11:3 says, 'The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.' I have therefore decided to go to church this morning dressed in a fine Italian jacket rather than a 'monkey jacket.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 1 April 2018

Sins of Saints

Sins of saints
I was thinking this morning... about the sins of saints. Last weekend, I read a tweet by Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central, to PMB. It said, Dear Baba, Nature has not endowed the faeces of saints with fragrance. It's time to measure the moral cholesterol of members of your cabinet so as to know those still fit and deserving of a space in your sententious court.' While I am not interested in the political aspect of the tweet, the idiom 'Nature has not endowed the faeces of saints with fragrance' literally dragged me into introspective reflection.

I immediately recalled an experience I had a while back. I am paid to improve the health and safety culture of everyone in my risk area. I breathe and eat HSE, telling everyone at every opportunity to work safely, drive safely and even eat safely. In short, when I am seen outside of work, many will call me 'Oga safety.' One day I was driving in town with my right hand on the steering wheel and left hand holding my phone to my ear. Suddenly, a commercial bus drove by my side and sitting by the window was a colleague, a contractor personnel, who knows nothing about me but safety. She shook her head in disappointment and reminded me not to use my phone when driving. I felt ashamed. At that point, it doesn't matter how sanctimonious I have been concerning safety, I had poo-ed and it stank. It stank because nature has not endowed the faeces of saints with fragrance.

Do you remember how as parents you tell your children that lying is a sin? You teach it, preach it and even reach out to your pastor to help pass the message. Then entered this guy leeching on you. He had asked you for money, you obliged. He came again with another story, and you lend a helping hand. Then he called a third time and you told yourself it's time to become a member of #ourmumudondo. You decided not to attend to him again. The guy showed up at your house and without thinking, you tell your son to tell him you are not at home. Your boy, who sees you as a saint, without the faintest idea of what the circumstance is, froze, wondering how that can be. It dawned on you that you had goofed and can't explain this off. You know why? Because nature has not endowed the faeces of saints with fragrance.

As I held on to this idiom, I remembered Judas. He was a close confidant of Jesus and was even put in charge of the treasury. Many around the disciples probably saw him as a saint, until the day he poo-ed by betraying his master for money, and it sure did not smell like Creed Aventus perfume. The reason? Nature has not endowed the faeces of saints with fragrance.

But all things work together for good, the Bible says. If Judas had not betrayed Jesus, we will not be celebrating resurrection today. So, as you take on leadership responsibilities at home, work or church, remember to stay clean and not defecate because nature has not endowed the faeces of saints with fragrance.

Happy Easter.

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