Saturday 15 May 2021



I was thinking this morning..... about our kids and what the future holds for them in Nigeria. Watching the 1988 American romantic comedy film 'Coming to America' starring Eddie Murphy, back in those days, one scene like many others stuck in my subconscious till date. It was a discussion between Lisa McDowell and Darryl Jenks, the guy with the greasy hair who was competing with Akeem to win the love of Lisa. Lisa had said to Darryl 'The other day at the rally, somebody stuffed a large amount of cash into one of the collection boxes. You wouldn't happen to know who that was, would you?' Darryl hesitated and muttered 'Well I..' Before he could finish, Lisa cut in excitedly and said 'I thought it was you.' Darryl quickly stole the glory and responded smiling 'You know me, anything for the kids.' Cut!

Back to present day. I was at home last Tuesday morning when my door bell rang. When my wife opened the door, it was a young girl of about 11 years. She told us she had ran away from home somewhere in our Estate because she was being maltreated by her madam, who brought her to Lagos a couple of weeks ago and pleaded with us to take her back to her father in Benin city. Though I later found out that sections of her story were lies, I felt really sorry for her and wondered how as a people we have allowed children to be so abused and dehumanised. I was still on this when I read the news of Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju James, popularly known as Baba Ijesha, facing a five-count charge of alleged rape and sexual assault on a minor. Na wa o! What can we do to protect children from molestation? There must be something. Abeg, anything for the kids.

Iniubong (Hiny) Umoren, the young job seeker, brutally murdered in her prime in Uyo was someone's child, yet the society watched as savage serial killer, Uduak Akpan lived amongst us like a normal human being. There are strong suspicions that he may be an agent for ritualists or part of a crime ring that specialises in human organ trade. Whichever it was, how did we get here? Who will protect the children of Nigeria? You may be asking, 'what can I do?' Really, I don't know, all I can say is, anything for the kids.

As we prepare to celebrate yet another World Children's Day on May 27 (11 days from today) with the theme 'Investing in our future means investing in our children,' we need to deeply reflect on how we can invest in our children. Is it by sending them to expensive schools or by spending quality family time with them? Maybe, it means to invest in them morally and spiritually. In Warri, we will say 'all join.' But as for me with apologies to Darryl, I will say 'you know me, anything for the kids.' My prayer is that God will contend with those who contend with us and save our children (Isaiah 49:25b). I am pleading, invest in the future of your kids. Yes, anything for the kids.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

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