Sunday 27 May 2018

Falling From Heights

Falling and No Fall Arrestor
I was thinking this morning...... about falling from heights. The thoughts came to me when I read the headline 'Olisa Metuh collapses in court during trial.' I wondered how Olisa Metuh could allow himself to hit the ground so hard. Was he not using a fall arrestor? It is a rule in Health and Safety for anyone working at a height above 1.8m to use a fall arrestor, to protect themselves in case of a fall from height.
You see, in life people will fall but falling by itself may not be a problem. I remember the words of one of my instructors at a training I attended in the UK some years back. While teaching about the risk of working at height, he had said, 'It is not the falling that is the problem, it is the sudden stop.' It is so true. Think about it, if you fall from 300ft down and at the point of stopping suddenly, a rope holds you back, no problem, it is bungee jumping. When you fall from 2000ft above ground and at the point of hitting the ground, a parachute slows you down. Do not worry, it is sky diving. I once fell from over 180ft straight down at a speed of 109km/hr at 90 degrees drop into a black hole. With bated breath, I screamed imagining how great the crash might be. At the point of crashing, the metal cage I was in just rolled along on the track. Life did not jump out of me because I was in the 'Oblivion roller coaster' at Alton Towers. So, it is not the fall that is the problem, it is the sudden stop.
Everyone I know in politics, business or even in corporate organization wants to move to a higher position. They want to climb the corporate ladder but most of them forget that if you must work at height, you will need a fall arrestor. Little wonder the biblical phrase, 'How are the mighty fallen?' is so common. Have you wondered how some big names of yesterday in Nigeria are nobody today? They have fallen from grace to grass. The sad part is that, most did not fall on grass, they fell on concrete surfaces. Ouch!!!
Babachir Lawal, the former grass-cutting SGF, Timipre Sylvia, Ogbonaya Onu and many other APC chieftains with PDP parentage worked at height and fell. At the point of hitting the ground, they were given parachutes and they landed softly. They went home smiling because it was an exciting sky diving experience. It is not the fall that is the problem, it is the sudden stop. Olisa Metuh, Dasuki, Fani-Kayode, Diezani and all the other PDP goons were working on the same platform thousands of feet above ground. No one advised them to get a fall arrestor in case they all, and they did fall. When they fell, they expected some form of parachute or rope to hold them up and stop them from hitting the ground, but there was none. They crashed like humpty dumpty. It is not the fall that is the problem, it is the sudden stop.
My advise to everyone in high position, working at height especially on political platforms, is that they get a fall arrestor, because the fall will soon start. My prayer is that you will not fall, but if you do fall, will anything hold you up? The best and most trusted fall arrestor is your integrity. Do you have any? Psalms 41:12 says 'And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity and settest me before they face for ever.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 20 May 2018

Wedding Feast
I was thinking this morning..... about wedding, free food and the pay-as-you-go mentality. But why? I will tell you. Early this week, I read of one Obianuju, a twitter user that had her dreams come true after she attended a wedding where they shared food, and it got round to everybody. She wrote on her twitter page, 'I went to a wedding yesterday and it was hands down; the most organized wedding ever. Everyone got food and drinks on time, there was no selective giving... How did it happen you may wonder? Men were in charge of directing the food servers.' Hmm!!! But why will anyone be celebrating that everyone was served food at a wedding?

Truth is, there are very few occasions where uninvited guests or outsiders get to eat for free, and one of such is at a wedding ceremony. But Obianuju's tweet got me thinking about why free food at weddings is no longer guaranteed. In recent times, there has been a gradual shift from free-for-all, popularly called 'oshofri' to pay-as-you-go. Have you noticed how at weddings these days, tables and rows of seats are reserved for special guests and families and the food and drinks served to these special guests are different from others? While the special guests and stakeholders are served with China dishes, others are given plain rice in take-away packs. That is Act one, Scene one which I am sure most people have watched.

The curtain draws and Scene two commences. You attend a wedding and was unlucky to sit at the back or far way from the aso-ebi ladies. First, disposable cups are passed round and then water placed on each table. Your hopes are high that real food will soon come by, but after waiting for so long, food packs showed up but got finished just before it got to you. Your eyes are fixated on the servers hoping that your portion will be delivered, but you can bet that they are avoiding your row or table like Nigerians are currently avoiding Congolese for fear of ebola. End of Scene two.

I was wondering what the final act was going to be as I followed the events of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle yesterday. Because of the buzz and blitz, I was convinced it wasn't going to follow my script, but I was wrong. It was the final scene of the transition from free food at weddings to pay-as-you-go. Can you believe that 1200 hand-picked ordinary people, many from charities that the royals support, were invited to the wedding at Windsor Castle ground,  but their handlers were advised in letters to come with picnic lunch? How can the royals invite commoners to their wedding and asked them to come with their sandwiches? Has recession hit them as well? If they can't afford to feed all the guests, why did they invite them?

If the British throne cannot afford to serve everyone they invited food, do you blame Obianuju for celebrating when everyone at the wedding she attended was served? I worry because this is a bad example that Nigerians will soon copy and improve upon. Soon, you will read about intending coupes printing on the cards that guest should come with their chairs and food.

As we gradually entrench the pay-as-you-go mentality at weddings, my joy is that there is one wedding where everything is ready and everyone will be served, irrespective of status; the marriage feast of the lamb. Because Revelation 19:9 says, 'Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the lamb.' Prepare to attend.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 13 May 2018

The Language of Your Thoughts

Language of your thoughts
I was thinking this morning.... in pidgin English. No, I am not thinking of pidgin English, I am thinking in pidgin English. I grew up in a neighborhood in Warri where pidgin English was the dominant language of communication. Though my parents spoke the local Itsekiri language to us at home, pidgin English was the common language because of the diverse backgrounds of the neighborhood kids. Hence, I grew up thinking in pidgin English. Have you ever wondered the language of your thoughts? I once knew a man that speaks in measured words. When asked why he speaks so slowly, he responded, 'You see, I think in Yoruba, so before I can respond to you in English, I must first translate my thoughts from Yoruba to words in English. I takes time you know.' Hmm!!!

As I thought about it, I shouted 'Eureka! That explains it.' It explains why our leaders have been embarrassing us in recent times. I have always wondered why they make such unpardonable goofs even when we know they can communicate fairly alright in English. Remember, when the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, made her famous 'There is God' speech. She had said, '...There is God o! The bloods we are sharing, there is God o!' As I wondered how we could be sharing blood when it is not money, it occurred to me, she thinks in her native language of Okrika and probably had difficulty translating 'shedding' into English, hence the linguistic misstep.

Next it was PMB in July 2015, while delivering a speech on the 'abduction of the Chibok girls,' at the United States Institute of Peace. The President said that the children had been kidnapped from 'their hotels' instead of 'hostels.' Since I am not aware that we now conduct SSCE exams in hotels, it is safe to assume that it was a linguistic misstep. This is so because PMB thinks in Hausa. According to Google, the Hausa word for hostel is 'dakunan kwanan dalibai' meaning 'the room where students sleep,' while hotel is 'Masauki' translated 'accommodation.' So, if PMB translates accommodation in Hausa to hotel in English, do you blame him?

For a split second, I thought it was only Nigerians that think in a language other than English until I read how France's President Emmanuel Macron goofed during his May 2 visit to Australia, Wrapping up a joint news conference during his brief Australian visit, Macron moved to thank the Turnbulls for  their hospitality. He had said, 'I want to thank you for your welcome, thank you and your delicious wife for your warm welcome.' Oops! How can someone's wife be delicious? Calabar man will exclaim 'Abasi mbok!' I am sure Macron was still thinking of the delicious meal and red wine he was served when he made the comment. However, thinking about it, I found out that the linguistic misstep was because Macron thinks in French where a similarly sounding word 'delicieux' better translates as 'lovely' or 'delightful.'

I have come to realize that the language of your thoughts can change depending on your environment. I have since switched over to thinking in Queens English, but on this Sunday morning, something telleth me that I thinketh in Bible English, because Prov 23:7 says 'For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.' I urge you therefore to think holy to avoid linguistic misstep.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday 6 May 2018

The Slim Chance of the Fat and Overweight

Obese passengers and seatbelts
I was thinking this morning... about how the chances of fat people are getting slimmer by the day. Recently, I boarded a small aircraft to Lagos. After taking my seat prior to take off, a friend of mine, a lady got in and took her seat just in front of mine. While I strapped my seatbelt awaiting the aircraft to taxi, I observed my friend struggling to strap herself because the seatbelt was too short to go round her waistline. She was embarrassed to ask for extension seatbelt, which is usually given to nursing mothers to strap their children. I felt her pain but could offer no help. I wondered why the safety of plus-sized people was not considered in designing the seatbelts.

Imagine then my horror when I read the headline, 'Thai Airways bans obese passengers from business class.' Like we say in Warri, fear grip me. It was reported that Thai Airways International plans to install new seatbelts with airbags in the business class cabins of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets. 'Great move,' you will say, but the low point is that the belts are not designed for overweight passengers, as they have a 142cm waistline limit. To me, this is discrimination.

Initially, I thought this disregard for the safety of the overweight is limited to adults only but was shocked when a recent study showed that over 250,000 US children aged 6 and under are too fat to use standard child safety seats. Haba!!!

But wait, why would an airline discriminate against passengers because of their size? They discriminated against potential air host and hostess that are obese and are now extending it to passengers. Why can't they just make provision for the obese? As I continued probing, I discovered that in year 2000, airlines spent $275 million on 350 million additional gallons of fuel to compensate for additional weight of passengers. Hmm!!! So the motive is to further their cost ambition and not safety after all. Na wa! World people!

I don't have a problem with the airline preventing obese people from flying business class, after all they will pay less for economy seat. My only worry is that if all the obese passengers are seated in economy class, usually at the tail end of the aircraft, all the weight will be at the back, presupposing that the plane will have its nose up. I have a feeling they will be headed for space.

But seriously, I really don't think plus-sized people are treated fairly. They are made to feel like something is wrong with them, when for many they were not fat by choice. I understand that it is good to stay in shape and be healthy, but it is fallacious to assume all slim people are healthy and all fat people are unhealthy. For those that put  premium on the size and weight of people to make a decision, always remember that if a rose smells better than water-leaf or ugwu leaf, it doesn't mean the rose can make a better edikang-ikong soup. We are all different and should be so respected.

However, as I comforted myself not to worry about how I am gaining weight in my abdomen (mid life pregnancy), I remembered Judges 3:17 that says, 'He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.' But after reading what happened to Eglon because of his weight, I took an immediate decision to deliver my stomach from fat through exercise and diet.

Truth is, being overweight (fat) could make your chances with employment, health and now flying business class slimmer, so you must do all within your power to have a healthy weight.

Happy Sunday.

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