Saturday 10 April 2021



I was thinking this morning.... Having spent the better part of my adult life with friends from Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani extraction, I am aware that like us Deltans, these tribes also have challenges with pronouncing some letters and words. While the Igbos have L and R factors, the Hausa/Fulanis are challenged with pronouncing 'F' and 'P' words. The Yorubas, on the other hand can't pronounce words with 'H' as the H will be silent. In order to compensate for the 'H' challenge, you hear many educated yorubas, force 'H' into words that don't have it. For instance, they pronounce 'air', (H)air while Hair will be pronounced 'air.'

Against this background, I was worried for my cousin, named Henry when I first saw a newly-painted road sign in Maldon, Essex UK. The sign says "NO Enry." I had initially thought it was written by a yoruba man who had spelt the name 'Henry' the way he pronounces it and left out the letter 'H'. 'What has Henry done?' I imagined. I was still musing when I saw the social media rave about the sign. Apparently, the council staff that painted the words wanted to spell ENTRY but missed out the letter 'T'. While so many people teased and suggested the staff were 'on a T break', one man echoed my sentiment exactly when he joked: "Poor Enry, I feel for 'im".

As my small frame shook with mirth from the sign and comments, I imagined how a minor error could have grave implications. The 'NO ENTRY' sign was meant to stop everyone from taking that route, but someone's error that left out a letter changed the narrative and meant only those called '(H)enry' are barred. Poor Henry! When this happens, I can imagine Henry telling the sign writer, 'If na you dem send, tell dem say you no see me.' 🙂

If your name is Henry and you are denied access because of the 'NO ENRY' sign, do not just turn back and say 'hard luck.' Ask why, as it may just be a simple error because someone is on 'T' break. So many have lost out of their blessings because they are too fearful to ask 'why so?' Do not be afraid to challenge the status quo.

However, when you do challenge the person and the process, please do not attack his person because the man may just be having a bad day. Like the sign writer in Maldon, he made a harmless mistake and had nothing against Henry.

If you feel like Henry, disadvantaged or marginalised for no reason, denied from making progress, do not resign to fate, like Isaiah 41:21 admonishes 'Pesent your case, says the LORD. "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob's King.' If you get no answer from man, ask God in prayers.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

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